SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s food supply and statistics agency Conab has launched a survey to gauge the size of the country’s private stocks of rice, coffee and wheat, according to a statement on Tuesday, as Latin America’s largest economy grapples with rising food inflation.
It will the first time that the government collects data on private wheat stocks based on information provided by both producers and millers, Conab said.
The survey will be carried out between April 5 and April 23 in all regions of the country, and is expected to reveal the volume available for each of these products in private stocks.
“This information, in addition to contributing to our database, is fundamental for the national management of inventories,” Sergio De Zen, Conab’s director of agricultural policy and information, said in the statement.
The survey’s data will also help guide government policies with the aim of ensuring food supplies, the statement said.
The Brazilian government used to maintain public stocks of food staples like corn and soybeans, but these are expensive to keep.
In a recent interview, Silvio Farnese, the agriculture ministry’s trade and supply director, told Reuters building up grain reserves, as has been done in the past to regulate prices in the inter-harvest period, is not an option.
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Marguerita Choy)