Saturday, July 8, 2023

"El Nino hits rice industry"

From Malaysia's The Star, July 8:

PETALING JAYA: El Nino is already taking its toll on the country’s padi harvests, and with a global rice shortage looming, Malaysia is looking at importing more rice to meet domestic demand.

The scorching weather brought on by the El Nino phenomenon has already affected the rice planting season and harvest in Kedah, the main rice producer in the country along with Selangor.

The harvest in Kedah, scheduled from July to August, has reportedly been delayed to October, with 20% lower production. Padi from Perak, Kelantan, Pahang, and Selangor may now have to compensate for the shortfall in Kedah.

More rice may have to be imported, too.

The country already imports rice from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India and Pakistan but with El Nino hitting many of these countries, the government may have to seek other source nations....


And from Bloomberg, July 3:

Drought Menacing Thailand Threatens Global Supply of Sugar, Rice

  • Farmers advised to conserve water, avoid second rice crop
  • Prolonged dry spell risks fueling inflation, economic recovery  

Thailand is preparing contingency plans to deal with a potential drought that could last years and squeeze global supplies of sugar and rice.

Rainfall across the nation may be as much as 10% below average this monsoon season, and the onset of the El Niño weather pattern could lower precipitation even further over the next two years, according to government officials. Thailand is facing widespread drought conditions from early 2024, authorities have warned.

The dire outlook has prompted Thai authorities to ask farmers to restrict rice planting to a single crop to conserve water, and sugar producers see output falling for the first time in three years. A drought is certain to fuel inflation in the Southeast Asian nation as the cost of vegetables, fresh food and meat get pricier on reduced harvests and more expensive animal feed.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha has asked state-run power utility Electricity Generating Authority and the Office of Natural Water Resources to help draw up contingency plans to conserve water. So far in 2023, the nation’s rainfall has been 28% below the same period last year, according to official data. 

El Niño can lead to drier conditions in parts of Asia and Africa, and heavy rains in South America, damaging a wide range of crops globally. Previous El Niños have resulted in a marked impact on global inflation and hit gross domestic product in nations from Brazil to India and Australia....