Reference Date: 03-July-2014
Near-record 2014 rice production
Harvesting of the 2014 paddy crop was completed in mid‑May. FAO’s latest estimate puts the 2014 aggregate paddy production at 2.7 million tonnes, up 3 percent from last year’s above‑average level and close to record. The increase in production mainly reflects higher yields following generally favourable weather conditions and continued Government support to the rice sector, including subsidies on agricultural inputs and machinery as incentives to raise yields. In January 2014, the Government also set the Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) at MYR 1 200 (USD 366) per tonne. However, domestic production meets only about half of the national cereal requirements.
Planting of the 2015 paddy crop has just started and will continue until late September. The rainfall has been generally normal in June over the main producing areas, namely Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, benefiting planting activities. However, over the same period below-average precipitation was recorded in Kudat and Tawau Divisions located the northern parts of Sabah state.
Cereal imports to increase in 2014/15
Total cereal imports in the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are preliminarily forecast at 6 million tonnes, some 5 percent higher than last year’s above‑average level. This mainly reflects an anticipated 6 percent increase in maize imports, which are forecast to reach 3.5 million tonnes, reflecting strong demand from the feed industry. Despite higher rice production this year, imports of the commodity are projected at 1.1 million tonnes, an increase of 10 percent compared to the 2013/14 below-average level. By contrast, wheat imports are anticipated to remain stable at 1.4 million tonnes.
According to the Department of Statistics the year-on-year increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in May 2014 was recorded at 3.2 percent. The food and non-alcoholic beverages component of the CPI increased by 3.3 percent.