Production:

Corn is the most important cereal in Venezuela, constituting the main source of energy in the diet of the Venezuelan population. About 420,000 hectares are harvested annually, from which 75 percent are located in the Western Plains, Central Plains and the Valley of the Yaracuy River. These three regions differ markedly in the soil and climate conditions; having very marked inter-annual variations in the amount and distribution of rainfall.

About 55 percent of corn produced in Venezuela is white corn for human consumption and the remainder is yellow corn for both human consumption and feed manufacturing – with over 80 percent going to feed. White corn is traditionally purchased by the corn flour industry to produce precooked corn flour, an important food staple in Venezuela. The total MY 2015 corn crop is estimated to be slightly lower due to reduced yields and assuming hybrid seed imports arrive in time for planting. It is estimated that only about 20 percent of total seed demand is currently available in the market. If imported seed does not arrive in time, production will decline further. According to the largest food manufacturer the government has already been told to use yellow corn to produce as much as 20 percent of its corn flour.

Corn production for MY 2016 is estimated to be no change compared to this year, as it is too early to know if the government will respond to producer demands to raise controlled prices and to provide needed foreign exchange to purchase inputs, equipment and repair parts. Farm-gate prices for regulated products, as is the case of corn, continue to be set by government agents without fully incorporating rising production costs.

Consumption:

According to industry sources, Venezuela needs about 1.5 million tons of white corn for human consumption and about 2.3 million tons of yellow corn for animal feed. Overall corn consumption is forecast to decline to that level at 3.8 million tons in MY 2016 as poultry and hog sectors contract. According to the Federation of Poultry Producers (FENAVI), poultry production will fall in 2015 by 7 – 10 percent. It is not clear how far hog production will fall in MY 2016 as illegal trade of live hogs into Colombia, while smaller, remains more profitable and still viable.

Trade:

Traditionally the United States is the primary yellow corn supplier to Venezuela. Yellow corn imports are expected to continue to supply the domestic feed industry. Based on information from industry contacts and exporter-export-data, total corn imports for MY 2015 are estimated at 2.6 million tons of which about 500,000 will be white corn and the rest of yellow corn coming mainly from the United States and Argentina. Post forecasts total corn imports for MY 2016 to fall to 2.5 million tons due to continue reduced demand and tighter restrictions on foreign currency for imports. The US will remain the primary supplier due to lower prices, greater availability and timing of transportation.

Corn

2013/2014

2014/2015

2015/2016

Market Begin Year

Oct 2013

Oct 2014

Oct 2015

Venezuela

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Harvested

443

443

420

425

0

425

Beginning Stocks

156

156

342

342

0

342

Production

1,360

1,360

1,300

1,300

0

1,300

MY Imports

2,626

2,626

2,600

2,600

0

2,500

TY Imports

2,626

2,662

2,600

2,600

0

2,500

TY Imp. from U.S.

1,061

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

4,142

4,142

4,242

4,242

0

4,142

MY Exports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Exports

0

0

0

0

0

0

Feed and Residual

2,200

2,200

2,300

2,300

0

2,250

FSI Consumption

1,600

1,600

1,650

1,600

0

1,550

Total Consumption

3,800

3,800

3,950

3,900

0

3,800

Ending Stocks

342

342

292

342

0

342

Total Distribution

4,142

3,866

4,242

4,242

0

4,142

1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA