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Favourable Weather Conditions for Planting of Paddy and Maize Crops

04 June 2014

THAILAND - Planting of the 2014 main season cereal crops, including rice and maize, is currently ongoing. Remote-sensed data indicate that rainfall since mid-April has been above average over the main cereal-producing areas, facilitating land preparation.

The total area planted to rice this season is officially forecast to decrease to 10.3 million hectares, slightly below the average level of the same season last year, due to lower domestic prices and high carryover stocks. Assuming average yields, FAO’s preliminary forecasts the 2014 main season rice production at 28 million tonnes, 2 percent below last year’s record output and the 2014 aggregate rice production at 38 million tonnes, around last year’s bumper level.

The 2014 maize production is officially forecast at 5.1 million tonnes, similar to last year’s record output, as a result of anticipated higher plantings in response to sustained demand from the feed industry.

The 2013 aggregate rice production estimated at a record level

Harvesting of the 2013/14 mostly irrigated secondary season rice crop, accounting for almost 30 percent of the annual production, started in late April and will continue until June. Latest official forecast for the 2013/14 secondary season rice crop, currently being harvested, is set at 10.1 million tonnes, 5 percent below the previous year’s same season record level. This is the result of lower yields, following prolonged dry weather which limited water availabilities for irrigation particularly in the northern and central parts of the country. However, a 5 percent increase in the 2013 main season rice crop more than offset the reduced production of the secondary season and the 2013 aggregate rice production is put at a record level of 38 million tonnes, 3 percent above the bumper 2012 outcome.

Rice exports continue at a normal pace and are forecast at an above average level in 2014

In the 2014 marketing year (January/December) rice exports are forecast at 9 million tonnes, some 36 percent above last year’s low level and 8 percent above the average level of the previous five years. The expected recovery mainly reflects the near-record production of the 2013 main season and high carryover stocks. Despite current political instability, which was feared to hamper access to government stocks, exports continue at a normal pace. The country does not produce wheat hence the entire quantity (about 2 million tonnes) is imported.

Domestic prices of rice declining and at low levels

Domestic rice prices further declined in April, reflecting continuous large sales of government stocks, coupled with supplies from the ongoing 2013/14 secondary season harvest entering the markets. Rice prices have generally been on a declining trend since mid-2012 and in April were about one-third below their levels of a year earlier.

TheCropSite News Desk

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