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Reference Date: 14-August-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable prospects for the 2014 main season paddy crop

  2. Rice exports forecast at an above-average level in 2014

  3. Domestic prices of rice increased somewhat in July but remain at low levels

  4. Overall food security in the country is satisfactory

Favourable prospects for the 2014 main season paddy crop

Planting of the 2014, main season rice crop, accounting for 70 percent of the annual production, began in early May in the north and is expected to continue until late August in the main producing southern areas. According to the Thai Meteorological Department, rainfall in May and June was generally below average particularly over the northern and central producing areas, hindering somewhat planting activities. However, rains improved from early July over much of the country, benefitting transplanting activities and the early planted crops. The total area planted to rice this season is officially forecast to decrease to 10.3 million hectares, slightly below the average level of the same season last year, mainly as a result of low domestic prices. Considering the slight contraction in area planted and assuming average yields, FAO preliminarily forecasts the 2014 main season rice production at 27.5 million tonnes, 2 percent below last year’s record output. Including an average 2014/15 secondary season output, the 2014 aggregate rice production is tentatively forecast at 37.5 million tonnes, some 2 percent below last year’s bumper level.

The latest official forecast for the 2014 maize crop, currently being harvested, is set at a record level of 5.1 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s bumper output. This is mainly attributed to a small increase in plantings in response to sustained demand from the feed industry.

Rice exports forecast at an above-average level in 2014

Following the near-record production in 2013 and high carryover stocks, as well as the recent resumption of sales from Government warehouses, rice exports in 2014 are forecast at 9 million tonnes, a recovery of 36 percent from last year’s low level and 8 percent above the average level of the previous five years. Between late May and July, the Government had temporarily suspended rice sales from public stocks. However, during this period, some releases took place under pre-existing sales agreement and deliveries under a government-to-government commitment with China have also proceeded. The country does not produce wheat hence the entire quantity (about 2 million tonnes) is imported.

Domestic prices of rice increased somewhat in July but remain at low levels

Domestic rice prices, which had declined between March and May 2014 with the 2013/14 secondary season harvest and continuous releases from public stocks, rebounded somewhat for the second consecutive month in July mainly due to the suspension of rice sales from Government warehouses. However, prices remain generally below their levels of a year earlier.

The latest official data indicate that the national year-on-year inflation rate in July 2014 was 2.2 percent.









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

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