The 2012/13 summer cereal crop output is estimated at 6.8 million metric tons (mt) with 4.5 million mt of ￼paddy, 2.0 million mt of maize and 0.3 million mt of millet. This represents a reduction of 10.0 percent overall, with 11.0, 8.0, and 2.5 percent drops for paddy, maize and millet respectively compared to the 2011/12 summer output. Against the five-year average, the 2012/13 summer output marginally exceeds by 0.75 percent.
Growing conditions (rainfall) and production estimates for the 2012/13 summer crop were similar to that of 2009/10, when late and erratic rainfall resulted in significant losses for paddy and maize production. In addition, lack of timely fertilizer supply also affected summer crop production in 2012.
Retail prices of most food commodities showed a normal fluctuation in December 2012 as compared to the same period of the past four years. Farm gate price of paddy increased by 18.5 percent (NPR 2.50) compared to 2011 whereas wage rate index of agricultural labor increased by 30 percent.
Nepal imported 524,592 mt of rice (worth NPR 13,966 millions) and 241,917 mt (worth NPR 4,730 million) of maize during January-October 2012. Despite the record high production in 2011, rice import surged by 311 percent in 2012.
Overall outlook for winter crops especially wheat and barley remains moderate. Due to late plantation and poor soil moisture, production of winter crops was expected to decline. However, winter rain (second week of January) has revived the normal production expectation for wheat.
In India, the 2012/13 summer paddy production is below the record high production of 2011/12 by some 17 percent though its food grain production estimates for 2012/13 stand higher than the five-year average by some four million mt. FAO and IGC1 estimate global paddy and maize production at 728.7 and 876 million mt respectively. At 728.7 million mt, paddy production is set to surpass the 2011 historical record by 4.9 million mt or by 0.7 percent.