The supply response to firm prices in 2012 exceeded worldwide demand resulting in an equivalent adjustment in 2013 as East African prices fell to USD1500 per tonne for 3L and USD1400 per tonne for UG in September 2013, from USD1710 per tonne for 3L and USD1616 per tonne for UG in September 2012. Brazilian sisal prices also declined from an average of USD899 per tonne in 2012 to an average of about USD880 per tonne during the first half of 2013. However, I understand from presentations yesterday that the continued drought in Brazil has resulted in prices reaching unsustainably high levels.

World production of sisal continues to be dominated by Brazil in 2012, accounting for 34.6 percent of the global total; followed by China (22.6 percent); Tanzania (16.4 percent); Kenya (12.9 percent); Madagascar (3.8 percent); and other countries (9.7 percent).

World production of sisal, henequen, fique and other hard fibres reached 276 100 tonnes in 2012, down by 12 percent from 2011 and still well below the levels of the last decade.

Sisal production in Brazil fell to 75 000 tonnes in 2012, after reaching a high of 111 200 tonnes in 2011. Similarly, production in Madagascar declined to 8 200 tonnes in 2012 after recovering to 9100 tonnes in 2010, while output in Tanzania, which fell to 21 100 tonnes in 2009 due to adverse weather conditions, recovered to 35 600 tonnes in 2012.