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Country Briefs

  Lao People's Democratic Republic

Reference Date: 24-May-2016


  1. Dry weather affects start of 2016 main rice season

  2. Cereal production decreased in 2015 due to dry weather

  3. Cereal exports in 2016 forecast to increase from last year’s high level

Dry weather affects start of 2016 main rice season

Planting of the 2016 main (wet) season paddy crop, normally starts in mid‑April in the northern parts, while the bulk of the crop, grown in central and southern parts is sown from late May onwards. However, for this season so far, remote sensing data indicates lower‑than‑average rainfall since early April over much of the northern growing areas, which has likely delayed planting operations and, should it persist could reduce the area sown. In the main growing areas in the centre and south of the country, the performance of the monsoon rains in the coming weeks will be crucial for the outcome of the main season.

Cereal production in 2015 decreased due to dry weather

FAO’s latest estimate puts the 2015 aggregate rice production (including the 2015 main season, harvested by December 2015 and secondary season, harvested by April 2016) at 3.2 million tonnes, 4 percent below the record level of 2014. This reflects a small decrease in both area and yields, following poor rains particularly during the first part of the main season, associated with the El Niño episode. Similarly, maize output is estimated 5 percent below the 2014 level at 1.1 million tonnes.

Livestock conditions have been negatively affected by a period of extreme low temperatures in January 2016, coupled with reduced water availability and lack of adequate pasture. Latest reports estimate that some 4 000 head of livestock have been lost.

Cereal exports in 2016 to increase from last year’s level

Cereal exports in marketing year 2016 are forecast at 350 000 tonnes, 6 percent above the previous year’s level. The increase is mainly the result of anticipated higher rice exports, which notwithstanding a smaller output in 2015, are projected to increase, due to ample stock availabilities. By contrast, maize exports are expected to decline as a result of the smaller crop in 2015, as well as strong local demand from the feed industry.