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USDA World Agricultural Production


12 October 2015

USDA World Agricultural Production - 12 October 2015USDA World Agricultural Production - 12 October 2015


USDA World Agricultural Production

Thailand Rice: Production Forecast to Decline on Irrigation Ban

USDA forecasts 2015/16 Thailand rice production at 16.4 million metric tons (milled basis), down 1.6 million tons (milled) from last month and down 2.4 million tons from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 9.7 million hectares, down 0.55 million hectares or 5.4 percent from last month and down 6.0 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at well below-average at 2.58 tons per hectare. Thailand is experiencing a second consecutive year of drought, which has the potential to cripple its agricultural sector and slow its economy. Water shortages have been widespread, forcing the government to ration its use for agricultural, industrial, and urban consumers for the past 9 months. Less-than-adequate rainfall in 2015 resulted in insufficient recharge of key reservoirs, which underpin much of the economy and the country’s drinking water supply. Reservoir supplies in late September are critically low, 40 to 50 percent below last year’s drought-affected level. As a result, the Thai government ordered a complete ban on irrigation water usage during the upcoming winter dry season rice crop. Thai farmers typically sow approximately 2.0 million hectares during the dry season, of which approximately 80 percent is fully irrigated. Given the existing water shortage and the official ban on agricultural irrigation usage, it is likely that 2015/16 dry-season acreage will substantially decline from both last year and the average. (For more information, please contact Michael.Shean@fas.usda.gov.)

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