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Reference Date: 05-June-2015


  1. Prospects for planting of 2015 main season rice uncertain due to dry weather

  2. Rice exports forecast to increase in 2015

  3. Rice prices stable in May in most urban markets

Uncertain prospects for 2015 main season rice planting due to dry weather

The bulk of the main (wet) season paddy crop, which accounts for about 80 percent of the annual production, is normally planted between May and August. Remote sensing data, as of the third dekad of May, indicates below-average rains in April and May over most of the country and low vegetation activity (NDVI anomaly). This is likely to have delayed planting operations and could reduce the area planted, as on average around 15 percent of the main season rice is normally sown between mid-April and May. The current dry weather may be attributed to the onset of a weak El Niño event this year, as the phenomenon is often associated with below-average precipitation in South-East Asia. If rainfall levels do not improve in the following weeks, plantings and yield potential of the 2015 main season rice crop could be severely compromised. The FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System will closely monitor the weather situation and assess possible effects on rice production.

Planting of the 2015 maize crop normally starts in May and continues into June, therefore, the current dry weather is likely to have also delayed sowing operations of the maize crop.

Rice production in 2014 estimated to have declined marginally

The 2014 aggregate rice production (including the 2014 main and the 2014/15 secondary seasons), was officially estimate at 9.3 million tonnes, marginally below the 2013 record level. The small decrease mainly reflects a combination of floods and droughts, which affected the 2014 main (wet) season crop. The adverse weather also affected the 2014 maize production which was estimated at 550 000 tonnes, a drop of 41 percent compared to the 2013 bumper output.

Rice exports forecast to increase in 2015

Rice exports in 2015 are forecast at 1.2 million tonnes, up 5 percent from last year’s level, as the country is targeting new markets as part of the Government’s strategy to boost official exports in 2015. By contrast, maize shipments in 2015 are set to decrease by 50 percent to175 000 tonnes, due to the sharply reduced 2014 production.

Rice prices stable in May

Wholesale prices of rice were relatively stable in most markets in May, reflecting adequate supplies from the 2014 good harvests. However, prices increased significantly in Battambang market, the main rice producing province, and were above their year-earlier levels, due to increased exports in recent months compared to the same period last year.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2012, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1996
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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