WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Costa Rica’s rice production is still feeling the impact of Tropical Storm Nate in October 2017, with significant declines expected in 2017-18, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). 

Lower planted area and yields in the crop year resulted in a production decline to 130,400 tonnes. Production is expected to increase in 2018-19 to 150,000 tonnes, assuming normal weather conditions.

Import volume may increase to 140,000 tonnes of milled rice equivalent in 2018 to offset lower local rice production, the FAS said.

The Costa Rican government will allow duty free imports of an estimated 62,000 tonnes of rough rice. It already allocated 42,176 tonnes to Brazil for import in April and June, and the remaining 20,000 tonnes are expected to come from South America.

Rice production during crop year 2016-17 reached 200,347 tonnes of paddy rice, roughly equivalent to 134,000 tonnes of milled rice. During that period, total output increased 6.81% as compared to the previous crop year mainly because of higher productivity per hectare.