GIEWS > Data & Tools > Earth Observation
GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Country Briefs


Reference Date: 27-May-2016


  1. Cereal production in 2016 forecast to decline slightly

  2. Total cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year forecast to increase to record level

  3. Rice prices declining but still at relatively high level

  4. Concerns remain for vulnerable rural groups due to high prices and negative impact of dry weather on food production and incomes

Cereal production in 2016 forecast to decline slightly

Harvesting of the 2016, mostly irrigated, main season paddy crop is ongoing with a delay of up to eight weeks in several areas. The late onset of the rainy season and erratic precipitation through January, under the influence of the El Niño event, delayed planting activities, particularly in the rainfed perimetres. The areas that recorded the highest delays include parts of West and East Java, West Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi, which together account for the bulk of main season rice output. Although improved precipitation since February allowed planting pace to pick up, average yields for the season are expected to be reduced because of the dry conditions for the early‑planted crops. Based on these latest prospects for the main season and the assumption that the off‑season crop will be increased in partial compensation, FAO tentatively forecasts the 2016 aggregate rice production at 71.9 million tonnes, 2 percent below last year’s level.

Harvesting of the 2016 main season maize crop is nearing completion and sowing of the secondary season crop is expected to start in June and continue into August. The 2016 aggregate maize output is forecast to decline slightly from last year’s good level due to the dry weather conditions.

Recent climate forecasts indicate that the gradually weakening El Niño event will transit to neutral conditions by mid‑year. From then on, there is an increased probability of a La Niña episode occurring during mid/late 2016, with about a 75 percent chance of a La Niña event during September 2016 to February 2017, although much uncertainty exists regarding this possible transition. Historically, La Niña is associated with increased rainfall in Indonesia, which could result in widespread flooding. This may expose the late‑planted 2016 secondary season crops to flooding negatively impacting on yields.

Total cereal imports in 2016/17 marketing year forecast to reach record levels

Indonesia is one of the biggest importers of cereals in South East Asia. Total cereal imports in the 2016/17 marketing year are forecast at 13 million tonnes, some 5 percent above the already record volume of the previous year.

Rice prices declining but still at relatively high levels

The average price of medium‑quality rice, the main staple in the country, has decreased slightly since March, with the arrival of the 2016 main season harvest. However, rice prices remain above their levels of a year earlier, after steep increases during the second part of 2015 due to reduced supplies from the 2015 secondary season crop, compounded by concerns over the impact of dry weather on the 2016 main season harvest.

Concerns remain for vulnerable rural groups

Although at national level the decrease in 2016 main season rice and maize outputs is estimated to be small, significant localized production losses are expected particularly in eastern parts of the country, with high concentrations of highly vulnerable subsistence farming families with little resilience. According to official estimates, the severe drought affected around 3 million people, mostly concentrated in eastern parts of the country. Among these populations, some 1.2 million people mostly living in provinces of East Nusa Tenggara, East Java and Papua may face food shortages in the coming months and require relief assistance. High prices of main staple rice are expected to weigh heavily on food access and further stress the food security situation of the most vulnerable populations.