Production:

Corn production for MY13/14 is lowered to 6.3 million metric tons, which is down roughly 1.2 million metric tons from the official USDA figure. Area harvested is, likewise, reduced from the official estimate to 2.2 million hectares. The corn production estimate for MY14/15 is held relatively steady at 6.6 million metric tons, with area harvested at 2.2 million hectares, slightly down from the official estimate. These new figures for production and area harvested are based on Post's tabulations of regionally-reported grain statistics.

MY15/16 production is forecast upward to 7.0 million metric tons. This anticipated increase is attributed to ongoing efforts made by the GOE and outside partners (e.g. USAID) to improve productivity through improved seed and fertilizer application, better agronomic techniques, etc. USAID, in partnership with its implementing partner ACDI/VOCA, are working in the corn value chain to increase productivity and corn quality, while reducing post-harvest losses. This USAID-funded program is known as the Development. This and other interventions have contributed to improved corn yields which along with increased area planted have allowed Ethiopia to more than double corn production over the last decade.

The MY15/16 production estimate assumes that the recently-detected outbreak of maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND) does not spread. Isolated cases of the disease, which is believed to have crossed the border from Kenya, have been reported in the Rift Valley, south Oromia, and the Southern Regional States. Ethiopian agricultural experts are working with the international community to stem the spread of this damaging disease. FAS/Nairobi's report on the MLND situation in Kenya provides information on the impact of the disease in that country. Kenya's experience can be extrapolated to show possible consequences for Ethiopian corn production if the disease spreads here.

Corn is the cheapest and most widely produced grain on a tonnage basis. In MY2014/15, corn accounted for about 22 percent of total area planted in cereals and 30 percent of the total cereal production. Almost 95 percent of corn is produced by smallholder farmers. Commercial farms produce the remainder, most of which is used for seed purposes. Corn is also a critical food security crop, providing 28 percent of the total calories absorbed from grain consumption.

Consumption:

Given the previously-mentioned reduction in production, MY13/14 consumption is commensurately lowered to 6.6 million metric tons, down approximately 700,000 metric tons from the official USDA estimate. Likewise in MY14/15, the corn consumption estimate is lowered 370,000 metric tons to 6.7 million metric tons. While the consumption figures for MY13/14 and MY14/15 are revised downward, year-over-year corn consumption continues its upward climb. This trend is expected to continue in MY15/16 with consumption forecast at 7.0 million metric tons.

Corn is the most widely-consumed grain. According to CSA data, 80 percent of corn production is used for household consumption, 10 percent is sold on the open market, and the remainder is used for seed, wages in kind, and animal feed. Because corn is the cheapest grain, the poorer rural communities in corn-producing areas tend to eat more corn. Specifically, per capita corn consumption is estimated at 45/kg in rural areas and 16/kg in the urban areas. Further, in order to keep prices down, a number of bakeries and households throughout the country blend corn flour with wheat flour when making bread. In the meantime, the use of corn in animal feed rations, especially poultry, is gradually beginning to increase and is forecast to reach 600,000 metric tons in MY15/16. Corn stalks are also used for animal feed as well as for fuel and home construction.

Trade:

Estimated corn exports for 2014/15 and MY15/16 are nil since the GOE restricts corn shipments outside the country. These restrictions, however, are periodically relaxed when the government determines that there is surplus production. If such a scenario unfolds, there might be a blip in corn exports. According to traders, the permanent removal of these restrictions would create a greater economic incentive for farmers to increase corn production.

Stocks:

The MY13/14 level of corn stocks is cut from the official USDA estimate of 1.0 million metric tons to roughly 500,000 metric tons. The basis for this reduction is the lower corn production figure. In addition, farmers, which hold most of the stocks, prefer not to hold large supplies due to weevil and other storage concerns. Corn stocks for MY14/15 and MY15/16 are expected to hold around 380,000 metric tons.

Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics

Corn

2013/2014

2014/2015

2015/2016

Market Begin Year

Oct 2013

Oct 2014

Oct 2015

Ethiopia

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Harvested

2,679

2,200

2,400

2,230

0

2,300

Beginning Stocks

763

763

959

481

0

380

Production

7,451

6,278

6,500

6,580

0

7,048

MY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

8,214

7,041

7,459

7,061

0

7,428

MY Exports

5

0

5

0

0

0

TY Exports

5

0

5

0

0

0

Feed and Residual

750

560

550

585

0

600

FSI Consumption

6,500

6,000

6,500

6,096

0

6,445

Total Consumption

7,250

6,560

7,050

6,681

0

7,045

Ending Stocks

959

481

404

380

0

383

Total Distribution

8,214

7,041

7,459

7,061

0

7,428

1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA