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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 04-August-2017


  1. Favourable rains boost prospects for 2017 main season crops

  2. Rice exports in 2017 forecast to remain close to 2016 levels

  3. Rice prices mostly stable in recent months

Favourable prospects for 2017 main season crops

Planting of the 2017 main (wet) season paddy crop, which accounts for about 80 percent of the total national production, started in May with the timely onset of the rainy season and is expected to continue until the end of August. So far, rainfall has been normal over the main rice-producing areas, sustaining a fast advance of planting activities and benefitting early crop development. Heavy rains in July resulted in a series of localized flooding in the northwestern parts of the country. Although a detailed assessment of the crop damage is not yet available, early official estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries indicate that some 12 000 hectares of paddy land was affected by the floods, accounting for a small share of the area planted to the 2017 main season. Official estimates, as of early July, indicate that 1.45 million hectares had been planted to paddy, 12 percent above the area planted at the same time last year. Assuming that normal growing conditions prevail for the remainder of the season, FAO forecasts the aggregate paddy production in 2017 at 10 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s record output. The performance of the rainy season, which normally lasts until October, will be critical in determining the main (wet) season output and will influence water availability for the secondary (dry) season crops planted during the last quarter of the year.

Planting of the 2017 main season maize crop is also underway, with the bulk already planted between May and June under favourable weather conditions. By early July, official reports indicate that over 126 000 hectares have been already planted to maize, almost 40 percent above last year’s low level of the corresponding period. Assuming that the recovery in plantings is coupled with average yields, FAO’s preliminary forecast for the 2017 aggregate maize output is 800 000 tonnes, 21 percent above last year’s low level and almost 50 percent higher than the average over the last three years of reduced outputs.

Rice exports in 2017 forecast to remain close to 2016 levels

Rice exports in the 2017 calendar year are forecast at 1.3 million tonnes, marginally above last year’s level, mirroring expectations of continued growth in demand.

Rice prices mostly stable in recent months

Wholesale prices of rice were mostly stable in recent months, amid adequate domestic availabilities.

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