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Reference Date: 03-June-2015


  1. Below-average rains in May delayed planting of 2015 main season rice crop in several areas

  2. Rice exports forecast to increase in 2015

  3. Domestic prices of rice remained stable in May

Below-average rains in May delayed planting of 2015 main season rice crop in several areas

Planting of the 2015 main season cereal crops, including rice and maize, is currently underway. Below-average precipitation in the first and second dekads of May, coupled with high temperatures, delayed planting in several parts. However, according to recent projections from the Thai Meteorological Department, rains are expected to improve from early June. Planting operations normally extend until August. The dry weather at the beginning of the season may be associated with the onset of a weak-to-moderate El Niño event this year, which causes concern about cereal production, as the phenomenon is often associated with below-average precipitation. Yet, considerable uncertainty persists about the intensity and duration of the event, as well as its impact on crops. At this early stage of the season and assuming an improvement of the rainy season performance in the coming weeks, FAO tentatively projects the 2015 aggregate rice output at 35 million tonnes, a moderate recovery from the 2014 reduced production.

Reduced aggregate rice crop in 2014

FAO’s latest estimates for the 2014/15 secondary season rice crop, currently being harvested, is put at 7.2 million tonnes, 26 percent below last year’s good secondary season. Significant planting reductions due to prolonged dry weather particularly in the northern and central regions of the country, coupled with slightly lower yields, led to the production decline. The 2014 aggregate rice production, including 27.1 million tonnes from the main season, is, therefore, estimated at 34.3 million tonnes, some 7 percent below the 2013 bumper crop.

Rice export forecast to increase in 2015

Despite the decrease in 2014 rice production, rice exports in 2015 are forecast to increase to 11.2 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s high level, due to high volumes of public stocks and Government’s intentions to promote larger sales. At this level, the 2015 export is slightly above 2014 and about 28 percent up on the average of the previous five years.

Thailand imports all of its wheat requirements, estimated at about 1.9 million tonnes.

Rice prices relatively stable in May

Domestic rice prices remained relatively stable in May, after weakening in the past months with the release of Government stocks and generally low export demand. Improved availabilities from the ongoing 2014/15 secondary season harvest, despite being significantly lower compared to last year, added some downward pressure.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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