FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Paddy production in 2016 to recover after two consecutive years of drought-reduced outputs
Rice exports in 2016 forecast close to last year’s high level
Domestic prices of rice declining
Paddy production in 2016 forecast to recover
Harvesting of the 2016 mostly rainfed main season paddy crop, accounting for over 70 percent of the annual production, is ongoing and is expected to continue until January. After two years of severe drought, the 2016 monsoon brought abundant rains over most of the country benefitting crop growth in rainfed areas. Improved water availabilities for irrigation also allowed planting operations in the irrigated perimeters to pick up, after some delays at the start of the season. Reflecting expectations of gains in the main and the forthcoming secondary season crops, FAO forecasts 2016 aggregate paddy production at 31.1 million tonnes. This implies a 9 percent recovery from the 2015 drought-reduced output but still well below production between 2011 and 2013, when output grew in response to high support prices offered under the defunct paddy-pledging programme.
The 2016 maize crop, harvested by mid-September, is estimated at 5 million tonnes, an 8 percent recovery from last year’s reduced output, reflecting an increase of both area planted and yields.
Rice exports in 2016 forecast close to last year’s level
Despite the significant decrease in the 2015 rice production, rice exports in 2016 are forecast at 9.9 million tonnes, close to the 2015 level, sustained by sales of rice from Government’s reserves.
Domestic rice prices declining
Domestic rice prices have declined for the third consecutive month and reached an 11-month low in October, as a result of ample domestic availabilities, a slow pace of sales abroad and main crop harvest pressure. In an attempt to prevent prices from decreasing further during harvesting time, which extends until January, the Government has implemented a number of measures including the temporary suspension of rice releases from the Government’s stockpiles and storage incentives to delay the arrival of the main season crops into the market (FPMA Food Policies).