Amid Food Shortages, Venezuela's Grain Production to Fall
- Venezuelans have endured food shortages and hyperinflation. Forecasts for production and imports of basic foodstuffs for the 2018/19 marketing year don’t inspire hope for improvements in the near term. Corn production is forecast at 700,000 tonnes, an increase from last year’s 600,000 tonnes because of favorable growing conditions, but well below the 1 million tonnes produced in 2016/17, a USDA reportshows. Area harvested in corn has shrunk significantly, as producers switch to other crops that aren’t subject to government price controls, such as soybeans. And with corn imports shrinking, total supply of the staple grain will be lower this year than last. Rice supplies also will be down this year—to 697,000 tonnes from 717,000 tonnes last year—as both production and imports decline. And total sorghum supplies will be less than half that of last year, at 35,000 tonnes.