Reference Date: 29-September-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
The 2014 aggregate rice production forecast slightly above last year’s record level
Harvesting of the 2014 summer/autumn and 10th-Month paddy crops, accounting for 32 and 22 percent, respectively, of the annual production, is currently underway. FAO forecasts the outputs of the two seasons to decrease marginally from the high levels of the last year’s corresponding seasons. This is the result of a small contraction in planted area, following the Government’s efforts to shift paddy land to other crops, including maize and soybeans, to avoid paddy over-production and prevent downward pressure on prices. The 2013/14 winter/spring paddy crop, harvested by June, is officially estimated at a record level of 20.8 million tonnes, up 4 percent from last year’s same season bumper crop. This largely reflects record yields due to favourable weather conditions and adequate supplies of irrigation water during the growing season. Considering gains already achieved with the winter/spring harvest and assuming average yields for the crops still to be harvested, FAO forecasts the 2014 aggregate rice production at a record high of 44.5 million tonnes, slightly above the bumper level of 2013.
Harvesting of the 2014 maize crop is almost complete. FAO estimates the 2014 aggregate maize output at a record level of 5.4 million tonnes, up 4 percent from the 2013 bumper output. This is mainly the result of an expansion in plantings and slightly higher yields, following favourable weather during the cropping season.
Rice exports expected to increase in 2014
The 2014 rice exports are forecast at 6.9 million tonnes, some 6 percent above last year’s below-average level. This reflects expectations of another good production in 2014 and higher export demand from Asian countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and China, in response to relatively low export prices. According to the General Statistics Office, rice exports between January and August 2014 reached 4.5 million tonnes, some 7 percent below the level recorded at the same period in 2013.
Cereal imports of the country consist mostly of wheat and maize. During the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) they are forecast at 2.1 and 1.8 million tonnes, respectively. Overall, cereal imports are set at 4.5 million tonnes, slightly below last year’s above-average level.
Domestic prices of rice continued to increase in August
Wholesale prices of rice, the main staple food in the country, increased markedly in August and were considerably higher than a year earlier. Strong import demand, particularly from China, supported prices and more than offset the downward pressure from the progress of the secondary 2014 summer/autumn crop harvest. The latest available official data indicates a 4.3 percent year-on-year increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in August 2014.