FAO GIEWS Country Brief on Cambodia (15-January-2015)

Reference Date: 15-January-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. 2014 main season rice production forecast at near-record level

  2. Rice exports forecast to increase in 2015

  3. Rice prices generally declined in December

  4. Overall food security situation satisfactory

2014 main season rice production forecast at near-record level

Harvesting of the 2014 main (wet) season paddy crop, which normally accounts for about 80 percent of annual production, is currently ongoing and will continue until the end of February. FAO’s latest forecast puts the 2014 main season rice output at 7.2 million tonnes, 2 percent below last year’s record level of the same season. The slight decrease is the result of a dry spell in northwestern parts between June and August, coupled with localized floods in August in some areas of the Mekong River Basin, which affected close to 166 000 hectares of agricultural crops, of which some 36 000 hectares were damaged. Assuming an average 2014/15 secondary (dry) season harvest, to be harvested between March and April 2015, FAO’s preliminary forecast for the aggregate 2014/15 rice production stands at 9.3 million tonnes, marginally below last year’s record level.

Harvesting of the 2014 maize was completed in October. FAO’s latest estimate points to a 1 percent decrease to 920 000 tonnes, reflecting a marginal contraction in planted area, after the record production in 2013.

Rice exports forecast to increase in 2015

Cereal exports in the 2015 marketing year (January/ December) are forecast at 1.5 million tonnes, 9 percent higher than last year’s above-average level. Most of this volume is rice, which is anticipated to increase by 15 percent compared to last year’s slightly reduced level.

Rice prices generally declined in December

Wholesale prices of rice declined in most markets in December, reflecting new supplies from the ongoing 2014/15 main season harvest, anticipated at a near-record level. Overall, prices were below their year-earlier levels.

Overall food security situation is satisfactory

Following good supplies from the previous year’s 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.