FAO Estimates Sri Lanka 2014 Paddy Rice Production to Decline to 3.9 Million Tons, Down 16% from Last Year
The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has estimated Sri Lanka’s paddy rice production to decline to around 3.9 million tons in 2014, down about 16% from around 4.62 million tons (around 3.14 million tons , basis milled) produced in 2013 due to significant reduction in the output from the 2013-14 Maha crop (September 2013 – April 2014), which contributes to over 60% of the country’s annual paddy rice production.
In its country brief on Sri Lanka, the FAO estimates the 2013-14 Maha rice crop output at around 2.4 million tons, down about 17% from around 2.9 million tons (around 1,97 million tons, basis milled) produced last year. It contributes the decline to a 15% reduction in paddy planted area due to the prolonged dry weather since the beginning of the season, especially in the main northern and eastern paddy producing regions. The FAO expects the output from the 2014 secondary Yala rice crop (April – September 2014) also to be low due to inadequate water supplies following dry weather earlier in the year.
The UN agency estimates Sri Lanka’s rice imports to increase in 2014 due to expected decline in production.
Though average domestic prices declined month-on-month in May, they were still higher year-on-year due to reduced 2014 Maha output and unfavorable prospects for the 2014 Yala output. Average retail price of white rice declined to around LKR 67,610 (around $520) per ton in May 2014, down about 3% from around LKR 67,610 (around $540) per ton in April 2014, and up about 14% from around LKR 59,480 (around $470) per ton in May 2013.
USDA estimates Sri Lanka to produce around 2.8 million tons of rice, basis milled (around 4.1 million tons, basis paddy) and import around 20,000 tons in MY 2014-15 (October 2014 – September 2015.