GIEWS Country Brief: Myanmar 21-December-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Favourable prospects for 2016/17 early season crops

  • Rice production in 2016 forecast to recover

  • Rice exports in 2016 forecast to decrease

  • Prices of rice have decreased sharply in recent months

  • Floods for second consecutive year severely affected large number of people

Favourable weather conditions at start of 2016/17 early cropping season

Planting of the 2016/17 early season maize and irrigated wheat is nearing completion while planting of the irrigated secondary paddy crop will continue until February. Normal monsoon rains boosted soil moisture and improved water availabilities for irrigation, benefitting sowing and the establishment of early-planted crops. Assuming favourable weather conditions prevail during the season, the early production outlook for the ongoing crops is positive.

Rice production in 2016 forecast to recover from last year’s reduced level

Harvesting of the 2016 main (monsoon) paddy crop, which accounts for 85 percent of the annual production, is nearing completion. Despite early season dryness and recurrent localized flooding between June and August in Ayeyarwady, Bago, Sagaing regions and in Chin and Rakhine states, growing conditions for the paddy crop were overall favourable. On expectations that more conducive growing conditions will promote gains in the main and secondary crop, FAO forecasts the 2016 aggregate paddy production to recover from last year’s flood-reduced level by 2 percent to 28 million tonnes.

The 2016 maize crop, harvested by April, is estimated by FAO at 1.6 million tonnes, some 3 percent above last year’s good level, mainly reflecting an expansion in plantings, supported by high demand from neighbouring China.

Rice exports in 2016 forecast to decrease

FAO forecasts rice exports in calendar 2016 at 1.2 million tonnes, 30 percent below last year’s level, owing to the Government of China’s efforts to limit informal inflows of rice across borders.

Prices of rice have decreased sharply in recent months

Wholesale prices of Emata rice, the most consumed variety, declined sharply for the third consecutive month in November, on account of improved supplies from the ongoing 2016 main season harvest and weak demand for export. Prices in November were 20 percent below their high levels a year-earlier.

Floods for second consecutive year severely affected large number of people

According to official estimates, recurrent floods between June and August 2016 adversely affected at least 500 000 people, mostly in Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing regions and Chin and Rakhine states. The same areas were also impacted by the severe floods and landslides in July and August in 2015.

The recent escalation of the conflict and insecurity in the northern part of Maungdaw Township in Rakhine State (situated on the western coast), caused at least 30 000 new displacements. According to OCHA, as of early December, over 525 000 people (including 220 000 IDPs), mostly concentrated in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states, require humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs.