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Reference Date: 23-September-2015


  1. Main season 2015 rice output to decline slightly due to dry conditions

  2. Rice exports forecast to increase in 2015

  3. Rice prices stable in May in most urban markets

Main season 2015 rice output to decline slightly due to dry conditions

Planting of the main (wet) season paddy crop, which accounts for about 80 percent of the annual production, started in early June and will continue until October. Below-average rains between May and July over most of the country delayed planting operations and undermined yields of earlier-planted crops. A more normal pattern of rains resumed from August, particularly over the eastern and east-central parts of the country, allowing paddy planting pace to pick up and improving moisture conditions for growing crops. According to latest official estimates, as of 3 September, main (wet) rice had been sown on some 2.23 million hectares, close to last year’s good level. Reportedly, some 189 122 hectares or 8 percent of this area has been affected by the earlier dry weather, with 9 176 hectares completely lost. As a result, FAO currently anticipates the 2015 main season rice production to fall by 3 percent to 7 million tonnes. Assuming more normal growing conditions for the latter half of the ongoing main season and larger sowings for the forthcoming 2015/16 dry season which may partially compensate for the losses incurred by the earlier dry weather, the 2015 aggregate rice production is forecast at 9.18 million tonnes. This is 2 percent down from last year’s bumper crop and slightly above the five-year average.

Harvesting of the 2015 maize crop has just started and will continue until October. The impact of the early-season dry weather on the maize crop was more severe than for rice. Latest official estimates, as of 3 September, indicate that some 81 722 hectares have been planted to maize, 12 percent below last year’s level, which was already reduced due to dry weather. As a result, FAO has lowered its forecast for 2015 maize production to 500 000 tonnes, which would be 9 percent down from the 2014 reduced harvest and 36 percent below the five-year average.

The current dry weather may be attributed to the El Niño event this year, as the phenomenon is often associated with below-average precipitation in South-East Asia.

FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System will continue to closely monitor the weather situation and assess possible effects on rice production.

Rice exports forecast to increase in 2015

Reflecting the high pace of shipments so far this year and the Government’s strategy to boost official exports through targeting new markets, FAO forecasts total rice exports in 2015 at 1.2 million tonnes, 6 percent above last year’s level. Direct milled rice exports between January and August 2015 have reached about 342 136 tonnes, nearly 50 percent up compared to the same period in the previous year. By contrast, maize shipments in 2015 are set to decrease by 33 percent to150 000 tonnes, due to the sharply reduced 2014 production.

Rice prices increased in August

Wholesale prices of rice increased in most markets in August, supported by sustained export demand. Concerns about damage to the 2015 main season crops due to prolonged dry weather added to the upward pressure. Overall, however, rice prices in August were still well below their levels a year earlier.

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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