GIEWS Country Brief: Malaysia 15-February-2016

News and Press Release
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Rice production in 2015 estimated at record level

Harvesting of the 2015 paddy crop was completed in May 2015. Latest official estimates put the 2015 rice production at a record level of 2.7 million tonnes, up 2 percent from the 2014 bumper harvest. Increased yields, as a result of overall favourable weather during the season and continued Government support to the rice sector, including subsidies for agricultural inputs aimed at boosting yields, more than offset a slight contraction in the area planted.

Planting of the 2016 paddy crop is nearing completion, with the bulk already planted between June and September. Rainfall levels have been generally normal to near‑normal between June and mid‑December over the main rice producing areas, including Sarawak State and the northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia, benefiting planting activities and early crop development. However, concerns remain as the current global El Niño event is expected to bring drier‑than‑average conditions during the northeast monsoon period (December‑March), which could have a negative impact on the yield potential of the 2016 paddy crop.

Cereal imports to increase in 2015/16 marketing year (July/June)

Total cereal imports in the 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 6.5 million tonnes, 2 percent above last year’s high level.

This reflects an increase in rice and wheat imports as a result of strong domestic demand. By contrast, maize imports are anticipated to remain generally stable at 3.7 million tonnes.