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Reference Date: 16-December-2013

Harvesting of the 2013 paddy crop has just begun and will continue until mid-May. Official estimates put the 2013 aggregate paddy production at 2.6 million tonnes, some 4 percent below the record harvest of last year. The decrease in production mainly reflects a 1 percent decline in the area planted, as well as a return to average yields after last year’s record levels. Meanwhile, the Government of Malaysia has renewed the assistance to the sector through different programmes, including price support, subsidies on fertilizers and seeds, and offered incentives to raise fragrant rice production. The guaranteed minimum price (GMP) is set at MYR 75 (USD 23.2) per 100 kg of paddy. Additionally, the Government makes fixed payments of MYR 24.81 (USD 7.7) per 100 kg to farmers for the paddy sold to the commercial rice mills. However, the domestic production meets only about half of the national cereal requirements.

About one million tonnes of rice and practically all wheat and maize are imported. Total cereal imports in 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at normal level of about 5.7 million tonnes, comprising 3.3 million tonnes of maize, mostly for livestock feeding and 1.4 million tonnes of wheat.

According to the Department of Statistics the year-on-year increase in the consumer price index (CPI) in October 2013 was recorded at 2.8 percent. The food and non-alcoholic beverages component of the CPI increased by 3.7 percent.

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