Malaysia

GIEWS Country Brief: Malaysia 25-April-2019

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Paddy production in 2019 is forecast at near-average level

  • Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 marketing year are forecast above the average

Paddy production in 2019 is forecast at near-average level

Harvesting of the 2019 main paddy crop started in January in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, followed by Sarawak, and is expected to be completed by the end of April. Meanwhile, planting of the 2019 secondary paddy crop, mostly sown in Peninsular Malaysia, started in early-March and is expected to be completed at the end of May. Production prospects are favourable as well-distributed and above-average rainfall since June until December 2018 benefited planting activities and early crop development of the main paddy crop. Furthermore, plantings of the mostly irrigated secondary crop have been supported by adequate water supplies for irrigation. Overall, the planted area with rice in 2019 is expected to be close to the average level of 2018, as government’s measures to encourage paddy production, including subsidies on seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation water, prevented planting contractions amid strong competition for land. The 2019 aggregate paddy production is forecast at 2.8 million tonnes, close to the near-average level in 2018.

Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 marketing year are forecast above the average

The country relies heavily on cereal imports to satisfy its growing domestic needs as local production covers only about one-fourth of the total national cereal consumption. In the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements are forecast at 6.7 million tonnes, virtually unchanged from the previous year’s above-average level, as a decline in maize imports is to be offset by gains in wheat and rice imports.

Maize import requirements in the 2018/19 marketing year, which hold the largest share of the imports, are forecast at 4 million tonnes, 5 percent below the last year’s record level but still 6 percent above the five-year average, reflecting a slowdown in demand from the feed industry. By contrast, wheat import requirements are forecast at 1.6 million tonnes, about 10 percent above the average, reflecting increased demand for quality bread and bakery goods. Rice import requirements are forecast at 1.1 million tonnes, 8 percent above the average.

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