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Cambodia's 2014 Rice Production Forecast Stable

10 June 2014

CAMBODIA - Early planting of the 2014 main season paddy crop, accounting for almost 80 per cent of the annual production, is currently underway. Below average rains in the main rice?producing areas are delaying field operations.

Preliminary official estimates, as of end-April, indicate that 62 117 hectares have been planted under the rice crop, 23 per cent less than the area planted at the same time in 2013. However, assuming an increase in precipitation in the coming weeks, FAO tentatively projects this season’s rice production at 7.4 million tonnes similar to last year’s same season good output. FAO tentatively forecasts the 2014/15 secondary (dry) season 2014 aggregate rice production at 9.5 million tonnes.

The 2013 aggregate rice production estimated at a record level

The 2013 aggregate rice production (main and secondary seasons) is officially estimated at a record level of 9.4 million tonnes, slightly above the bumper output in 2012. The good outcome reflects a three per cent expansion in plantings and higher yields, following overall favourable weather conditions, coupled with adequate supplies of fertilizers and seeds. This more than offset the damage of 128 500 hectares of the main season paddy crop (or five per cent of the cropped area to the main season) following localized floods during September and November 2013 across northern parts of the Mekong River Basin.

Slightly higher rice exports forecast in 2014

Cereal exports in the 2013/14 marketing year (January/December) are forecast at 1.5 million tonnes, close to last year’s above-average level. Most of this volume is rice, exports of which are forecast to increase slightly to 1.2 million tonnes. Some rice is exported formally but much of the milled rice and/or paddy pass through cross-border trade to Viet Nam and Thailand.

Rice prices decline significantly

Wholesale prices of rice decreased significantly in several markets in April, including the capital city, reflecting adequate availabilities from the 2013/14 secondary season harvest. Prices are generally lower in Battambang, the main rice-producing area of the country, located in the west bordering Thailand. Overall, rice prices were generally well below their levels a year earlier.

The overall food security situation is satisfactory

Following good supplies from the 2013 bumper cereal harvests, overall food availability is satisfactory. Access to food has also increased due to lower rice prices and the increase in daily wage rates for unskilled workers engaged mainly in farming and construction. Despite the improved national food supply situation, the floods during 2013 affected 21 provinces along the Mekong River, Tonle Sap Lake and north western parts of the country, directly affecting at least 60,000 families, with serious damage to housing and infrastructure reported.

TheCropSite News Desk

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