Reference Date: 05-June-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Prospects for planting of 2015 main season rice uncertain due to dry weather
Maize exports in 2015 forecast to decrease from previous year’s high level
Planting of the 2015 main (wet) season paddy crop has just started and will continue until July. Remote sensing data indicate lower-than-average rainfall since the second dekad of May over the main rice producing areas, including the provinces of Savannakhet, Champasak, Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Vientiane Prefecture, which all together produce about 50 percent of the total rice output. The dry weather is likely to have delayed planting operations and could reduce the area planted to the 2015 main season rice crop in these areas. 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. Rainfall performance in the following weeks will be crucial for avoiding reductions in plantings and yield potential of the 2015 main season rice crop. The FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System will continue to closely monitor the weather situation and assess possible effects on rice production.
Cereal exports for the 2015 marketing year (January/December) are forecast at 315 000 tonnes, 7 percent below last year’s high level. Most of this volume is maize, exports of which are set to decrease by 9 percent compared to the record level of the previous year and reach 265 000 tonnes. The expected decline is the result of a small contraction in the 2014 harvest, as well as strong local demand from the feed industry.