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Country Briefs


Reference Date: 15-September-2017


  1. Aggregate paddy production in 2017 forecast to increase from last year’s good level

  2. Rice exports in 2017 are forecast to increase to a three-year high

  3. After several months of strong increases, rice prices decreased sharply in July and August to low levels

Paddy production in 2017 forecast to exceed last year’s good level

Harvesting of the 2017 main season paddy crop, started in August in some areas, with the bulk to be gathered between October and January. Overall, the season progressed well, with abundant rains and ample availability of water for irrigation, aiding crop development. Above-average rains in July and August also triggered localized flooding in the northern and north-eastern areas of the country, but overall the impact on the 2017 main season is expected to be minimal. Area planted to the 2017 main season rice crops is estimated to have increased slightly, supported by remunerative prices at planting time. As a result and assuming normal weather for the remainder of the season, the 2017 aggregate paddy output is forecast at 33.7 million tonnes, 3 percent or 1.1 million tonnes above last year’s good level.

The 2017 maize crop is preliminary forecast at 4.3 million tonnes, 7 percent below last year’s high level. The projected year‑on‑year decrease is mainly the result of a contraction in area planted, as producers react to low prices by shifting maize areas to more profitable crops, such as sugarcane.

Rice exports in 2017 forecast to increase to a three‑year high

Rice exports in 2017 are forecast at 10.7 million tonnes, up 8 percent from last year’s level and a three-year high. This increase is expected to come from ample exportable availabilities, following a larger 2016 crop, and Government stock releases.

After several months of strong increases, rice prices decreased sharply in July and August

Domestic rice prices increased strongly between April and June, reaching the highest level since September 2013, mainly supported by strong demand from abroad. In July and August, rice prices decrease sharply reversing previous increases, amid favourable prospects for the 2017 paddy crops and a slowdown in international demand. Overall, rice prices in August were well below their year-earlier levels.

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