Flood in Myanmar Impact Rice Production and Export Sept. 4, 2015
Estimated milled rice production in Myanmar for MY 2015/16 has been reduced by 400,000 metric tons from the MY2014/15's level due to flooding in late July and early August. As a result of the flooding, domestic prices increased and an export ban was put in place, expected to last thru mid-September. About 250,000-300,000 metric tons of rice exports were delayed or cancelled because of this action. Trade sources now expect 2015 rice exports to total 1.6 million metric tons.
In late July and early August, heavy monsoon rains flooded wide areas in Southern, Southwest and the lower parts Myanmar. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, about 0.6 million hectares (1.5 million acres) of farm land were flooded, of which about 0.25 million hectare were monsoon rice fields. About 80 percent of the affect rice areas were in Bago, Sagaing, Rakhaine and Irrawaddy regions.
If rice cannot be replanted in these areas, the Government has announced plans to support replanting of other crops especially bean and pulses. Based on trade and industry sources, milled rice production is estimated for MY 2015/16 to fall about 0.4 million metric tons as a result of the damage.
At this time, it is unclear if these contracts were simply delayed or were cancelled. Exports are expected to be allowed again after September 15 according to trade sources.
Nonetheless, estimated 2015 rice exports by Myanmar are only expected to reach about 1.6 million metric tons, down 5 percent from 2014