Rice production in 2014 increased from the previous year’s reduced output
Harvesting of the 2014 paddy crop is nearing completion. FAO’s latest estimate puts the 2014 aggregate paddy production at a near-record level of 2.7 million tonnes, some 3 percent above last year’s level. The increase in production mainly reflects higher yields following generally favourable weather conditions and continued Government support to the rice sector, including subsidies on agricultural inputs and machinery as incentives to raise yields. In January 2014, the Government set the Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) at MYR 1 200 (USD 366) per tonne. However, domestic production meets only about half of the national cereal requirements.
Total cereal imports in the 2013/14 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 5.7 million tonnes, up 4 percent from last year’s above-average level. This mainly reflects the projected 6 percent increase in maize imports, which are forecast to reach 3.3 million tonnes, reflecting strong demand from the feed industry. Similarly, imports of wheat are projected at 1.4 million tonnes, an increase of 4 percent compared to the 2012/13 below-average output. By contrast, rice imports are anticipated to remain relatively stable at 992 000 tonnes.
According to the Department of Statistics the year-on-year increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in April 2014 was recorded at 3.4 percent. The food and non-alcoholic beverages component of the CPI increased by 3.6 percent.