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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 15-November-2018


  1. Production prospects for 2018 main paddy crops generally favourable

  2. Rice exports in 2018 forecast at average level

  3. Prices of rice on decline

Production prospects for 2018 main paddy crops generally favourable

Harvesting of the 2018 main paddy crop started in September, with the bulk to be gathered between December and February. The rainy season started on time in April over the main rice-producing areas, supporting an expansion of the area planted to record levels, officially estimated at 2.7 million hectares. From the second dekad of June until mid-October, precipitations were generally below average in the main producing areas of the southeastern, central and northwestern parts of the country. Above average rains in the third dekad of July and first dekad of August offset moisture deficits in the areas affected by dry weather but also triggered localized flooding in parts of Mekong River Delta. Official estimates, as of 15 October, indicate that the floods and moisture stress combined affected almost 300 000 hectares of paddy crop, of which 80 000 hectares were entirely lost, mostly in Prey Veng, Battambang, Siem Reap, Pursat and Svay Rieng provinces. However, production prospects are favourable, as the lost planted area represents only 3 percent of the total plantings of the 2018 main season and vegetation conditions are generally above average (see green areas in the ASI map). As a result, and assuming average weather conditions for the remainder of the season, the 2018 aggregate rice output (including the secondary crop to be harvested next March) is forecast at 10.7 million tonnes, slightly higher than the previous year’s record level.

Harvesting of the 2018 main maize crop is nearing completion, with the bulk already harvested between September and October. Including an average 2018 secondary crop, for harvest early next year, the aggregate 2018 output is forecast at 1.2 million tonnes, close to last year’s record level and 60 percent above the previous five-year average. The bumper production is mostly the result of estimated near-record plantings, sustained by strong demand from the local feed industry and China.

Rice exports in 2018 forecast at average level

Rice exports in the 2018 calendar year are forecast at 1.32 million tonnes, close to the five-year average, reflecting firm international demand.

Prices of rice on decline

Wholesale prices of rice have decreased by 5-10 percent between July and September in the main growing areas of Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces, following the harvest of early-planted crops that improved market availabilities. Overall, however, strong demand from the international markets kept prices above the level of a year earlier.

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