Production:

Corn production in the Dominican Republic continues to be limited. On average, annual production totals 40-45,000 MT mostly produced in the southwest region of the country, and those levels are not expected to change in the near future. Generally, domestic production represents about 3% of total import volume and consumption. No substantial changes are anticipated in 2015/16 production levels.

The DR also has very little sorghum production (around 3,000 MT annually, according to the Ministry of Agriculture) and imports very little as well. The DR's imports of coarse grains are essentially comprised of yellow corn #2 or its equivalent.

Consumption:

Corn is an important ingredient for the animal feed used in the DR poultry, egg and pork industries. Livestock producers import significant volumes of yellow corn for animal feed, typically around 1.0 million MT on an annual basis. According to trade sources, close to 75% of the corn supply is consumed in broiler and layer production, while swine consume about 20%. The remaining 5% is consumed by cattle, mostly from the dairy sector.

Each year, the country produces nearly 1.2 billion eggs and 190 million chickens. On a per capita basis, the DR consumes a staggering 70 pounds per year of chicken meat, coupled with approximately 16 pounds per year of pork (83,000 MT in total).

Corn is purchased by a small number of companies and buying groups composed by producers associations. The most important ones are: ASODEP, Pollo Cibao, Consejo, JUPROPE and MERCASID. Nearly 80% of all corn is imported by these 5 companies.

Given relatively low levels of population growth, ongoing liberalization of markets for finished meat products under the CAFTA-DR agreement, and limits on potential expansion of the local livestock sector, Post forecasts Dominican corn consumption to hold steady in 2015/16 at 1.1 million MT.

Trade:

During MY 2014/15 Post forecasts imports at 1,100,000 MT, slightly lower than the 1,010,288 MT imported during MY 2013/14. This reduction is a result of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED), that will continue to affect the swine population in the country.Historically, the United States has dominated the corn market in the Dominican Republic, enjoying close to 100% market share until MY 2008/09. Since that year, persistent complaints concerning dust levels, grain cracking, availability and shipping challenges and relatively higher prices led many importers to source South American supplies, specifically from Brazil and Argentina. However, during MY 2013/14 this trend reversed and the United States regained leadership in the local market, supplying nearly 60% of imported corn. Post expects this trend to continue during MY 2014/15 due to lower prices and higher quality on the latest US corn harvest.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC CORN IMPORTS BY PARTNER, MY 2010-2014 (MT)

Country

MY 09/10

MY 10/11

MY 11/12

MY 12/13

MY 13/14

Reporting Total

1,098,024

999,402

1,054,155

1,045,623

1,010,288

Brazil

75,608

163,921

528,895

503,275

328,551

United States

952,786

718,302

328,641

85,090

600,145

Argentina

25,798

117,166

173,596

319,555

66,500

Australia

0

0

0

0

Uruguay

16,632

0

0

0

Canada

0

13

2

0

Chile

0

0

0

0

China

0

0

0

0

Colombia

0

0

0

0

Germany

0

0

0

0

Guatemala

0

0

0

0

Mexico

0

0

0

2

Paraguay

27,200

0

23,019

137,700

15,000

Spain

0

0

2

1

India

0

0

0

0

92

* HS heading 1005.

* Source: GTA, GATS-USDA

Brazil continues to be the strongest competitor for corn to the DR market. During MY 2013/14 Brazil exported 33% of the total Dominican import volumes. Post forecast similar exports from Brazil during MY 2014/15 and further. Argentina reduced considerably their volume of corn exports to the DR, exporting just 66,500 MT during MY 2013/14, down from 319,555 MT.

Dominican exports of corn are not significant. According to the National Office of Statistics (ONE), the Dominican Republic exported approximately 2,000 MT of corn during MY 2013/14; 98% of that total was destined for Haiti. Imported yellow corn that is not used in the production of animal feed is milled to produce corn meal and corn grits for both domestic consumption and export. The export total for both products (HS 1102 and 1103) during MY 2013/14 was approximately 5,000 MT. Some Dominican companies export these products to Haiti (through both formal and informal channels) and other markets throughout the region. Similarly, there are small amounts of corn-based animal feed products being exported to Cuba and other islands in the Caribbean.

Stocks:

Storage facilities are limited and vary considerably among feed producers. Their collective storage capacity is estimated to be around 120,000 MT, while utilization of storage capacity is normally estimated at around 65-70%.

Policy:

As corn (along with soybean meal) constitutes one of the primary inputs in feed formulations, it is exempt from import duties in order to reduce costs for producers. Additionally, corn imports are not subject to the value-added tax (VAT).

As part of the DR's commitments at the World Trade Organization (WTO), the country included corn among the agricultural products comprising the Technical Rectification (TR). Specifically, as part of its WTO commitments under the TR following the Uruguay Round, the Government of Dominican Republic established an initial tariff-rate quota (TRQ) of 703,000 MT for corn that increased gradually to 1,091,000 MT as of 2004. Although the DR has a bound out-of-quota tariff rate of 40%, this tariff is not applied. According to the Decree 569-12 the Government will not apply the out-of-quota rate in corn imports.

The Decree 569-12 also included corn in the Automatic License System for the adjudication of the quota; which means that the import process is expedited for importers.

At the present time, the DR has legislation in place which requires every corn importer to purchase locally produced sorghum. Specifically, the National Corn and Sorghum Commission (CNMS is the Spanish acronym) requires the purchase of 5% of national sorghum production in exchange for the importation of corn. According to officials at the Ministry of Agriculture, the 5% figure applies regardless of the amount of corn imported.

Finally, it is worth noting that the DR does not currently restrict imports of GE commodities. Although the country has signed and ratified the Cartagena Protocol, the country's regulatory framework still awaits congressional approval and has not yet been implemented. Similarly, for imports the DR does have a rule in place that requires that the phytosanitary certificate accompanying a corn shipment state that said product "does not contain GMO material". This requirement was not enforced in the country until later in CY 2014, when the Ministry of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic (MoA) stopped two US corn shipments requiring a certification stating that the product "does not contain GMO material". After complaints from private industry, the Ministry permitted the entry of the product and will work on removing this requirement from the general corn import requirements.

Corn Dominican Republic

2013/2014

2014/2015

2015/2016

Market Year Begin: Oct 2013

Market Year Begin: Oct 2014

Market Year Begin: Oct 2015

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

29

29

29

29

29

Beginning Stocks

93

93

83

60

100

Production

45

45

45

45

45

MY Imports

1,100

1,010

1,200

1,100

1,100

TY Imports

1,100

1,010

1,200

1,100

1,100

TY Imp. from U.S.

600

600

0

800

700

Total Supply

1,238

1,148

1,328

1,205

1,245

MY Exports

5

5

5

5

5

TY Exports

5

5

5

5

5

Feed and Residual

1,050

983

1,100

1,000

1,000

FSI Consumption

100

100

100

100

100

Total Consumption

1,150

1,083

1,200

1,100

1,100

Ending Stocks

83

60

123

100

140

Total Distribution

1,238

1,148

1,328

1,205

1,245

Yield

2.

1.5517

2.

1.5517

1.5517