Indonesian Rice Crop Seen at Record and Curbing Grain Imports

Indonesia’s rice harvest, the world’s third-largest, may climb to a record for a second straight year, curbing the need to import grain, the United Nations said.

The paddy crop may be 72.1 million metric tons in 2013, 4.4 percent more than last year’s record 69.05 million tons, the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization said today in a report on its website. The harvest is expected to climb even after excess rain in December and March caused flood damage in some areas. Corn production may be about 19 million tons, similar to the record 18.96 million tons harvested a year earlier.

“The anticipated increase is mainly attributed to diverse initiatives launched by the government in order to achieve self-sufficiency target, as well as the expected increase in area planted to the crop,” the Rome-based FAO said.

Indonesian grain imports in the 2013-14 season begun April 1 may fall to 9.4 million tons from 9.8 million tons in the prior period, the FAO said. Domestic prices for medium-quality rice reached a record in February before declining in March. Prices last month were still 3.2 percent higher than a year earlier. Food-security conditions in the country are mostly stable, except in eastern areas, the FAO said.

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