Malaysia

GIEWS Country Brief: Malaysia 12-October-2018

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Near-average cumulative rainfall benefits start of 2019 main season

  • Bumper paddy production estimated in 2018

  • Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) forecast close to previous year’s record level

Near-average cumulative rainfall benefits start of 2019 main season

Planting of the 2019 main paddy crop started in June in Sabah State, followed by Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak State, and is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. Overall, cumulative rainfall between June and September was near average over the main rice producing areas, benefiting the start of the planting season. The planted area in 2019 is expected to be close to the high level of 2018, mostly due to the Government’s support measures to encourage production of paddy, including subsidies on seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water.

Latest weather forecasts point to enhanced probabilities for below normal precipitation levels from October to December in northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, as well as in most parts of Sabah State. This will coincide with the critical crop-growing period of the 2019 main paddy that bear a potential risk on yield potential.

Bumper paddy production estimated in 2018

The 2018 cropping season is completed and 2018’s paddy production is estimated at 2.9 million tonnes, close to the previous year’s record. With yields estimated to be close to average, the bumper output is the result of a record planted area, due to sustained domestic demand and various Government incentives promoting the production of paddy. The 2018 minor maize output is estimated at 70 000 tonnes, similar to last year’s average level.

Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 marketing year (July/June) forecast close to previous year’s record level

The country relies strongly on cereal imports to satisfy its growing domestic demand as local production covers only one-third of the total national cereal consumption. In the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June), total cereal imports are forecast at a record level of 6.7 million tonnes, slightly above previous year’s record level.

Maize import requirements in the 2018/19 marketing year, which hold the largest share of the imports, are forecast close to the previous year’s record level at 4.2 million tonnes, supported by strong demand from the feed industry. Wheat import requirements in 2018/19 are expected at 1.5 million tonnes, 5 percent above the previous year’s high level, reflecting strong demand for quality bread and bakery goods. Import requirements of rice in 2018 are forecast close to the five-year average at 980 000 tonnes.

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