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Reference Date: 25-March-2021


  1. Favourable production prospects for 2021 main paddy and maize crops

  2. Below‑average paddy output obtained in 2020

  3. Cereal imports in 2020/21 forecast below five‑year average

  4. Prices of rice increased between January and April 2020, and decreased since then

Favourable production prospects for 2021 main paddy and maize crops

Harvesting of the 2021 main (first) paddy crop, accounting for about 55 percent of the annual production, is ongoing and will conclude in June. The November‑March monsoon season was characterized by a timely onset and average to above‑average precipitation amounts in most parts of the country. The favourable rainy season supported planting operations and benefitted crop development especially in most main producing areas of Java and Sulawesi islands. The area harvested from January to April 2021 is officially forecast at 4.9 million hectares up 27 percent from January‑April 2020, aided by incentives by the Government to support paddy production, including distribution of subsidized seeds and fertilizers. As of late February, remote sensing data indicates satisfactory vegetation conditions in most of the country (see ASI map), inferring generally favourable yield prospects for the paddy crop. Crop conditions in parts of South Sumatra and Lampung Province and in northern areas of West Java Province are below average due to dry weather in November‑December 2020. Localized crop damages in South Kalimantan were caused by floods due to heavy rains last January. The 2021 mostly irrigated second crop, accounting for about 30 percent of the annual production, will be planted from April. Irrigation water availabilities are reported to be adequate.

Harvesting of the 2021 main maize crop will be completed in March and production prospects are favourable. The area planted is estimated to be close to last year’s above‑average level, while favourable weather conditions benefited yields. The 2021 off‑season maize crop, for harvest from July, will be planted in April/May.

Below‑average paddy output obtained in 2020

The 2020 paddy output is officially estimated at 55.2 million tonnes, only slightly above the 2019 reduced level as the main (first) paddy crop was affected by dry weather conditions. Maize output is estimated at an above‑average level of 22.5 million tonnes due to high plantings sustained by strong local demand.

Cereal import requirements in 2020/21 forecast below five‑year average

The country is one of the largest importers of cereals in Southeast Asia. Total cereal import requirements in the 2020/21 marketing year (April/March) are estimated at 12 million tonnes, 7 percent below the five‑year average.

Import requirements of wheat, which is not produced in the country and is used for both food and feed, are estimated at an average of 10.5 million tonnes. Imports of rice in the 2021 calendar year are forecast at 400 000 tonnes close to the limited volumes imported in 2019 and 2020. For maize, import requirements are estimated at 1 million tonnes, almost 20 percent below the average levels, mostly reflecting a decrease in demand from the feed industry due to lower poultry meat consumption as a result of the COVID‑19 pandemic.

Prices of rice increased between January and April 2020, but softened since then

Prices of rice increased between September 2019 and April 2020, reflecting expectations of a reduced output of the 2020 main season crop followed by strong domestic demand and supply disruptions related to the COVID‑19 pandemic at the beginning of last year. Subsequently, prices decreased weighed by the arrival of the 2020 harvest into the markets and the increased distribution of subsidized rice to the families hardest affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic. Overall, prices of rice in January 2021 were close to their year‑earlier levels.

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