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FAO’s forecast for global paddy rice production in 2013

According to FAO Rice Market Monitor (vol. XVI, issue 3) the 2013 paddy rice season is well advanced, as the main crops have been already garnered along and south of the equator, while in the major producing Countries, mostly located in the northern hemisphere, these are at the reproductive or, in some cases, ripening stage. FAO’s forecast for global paddy rice production in 2013 has been set at 746.4 million tonnes (497.6 million tonnes, milled basis), roughly 300 000 tonnes less than anticipated in April. The downward revision mainly concerns Indonesia, but output figures for Cambodia, China (Mainland), the European Union, Madagascar and the United States were also slashed. On the other hand, prospects for 2013 crops in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Peru, Thailand and Viet Nam improved. At 746.4 million tonnes, global paddy rice output in 2013 would stand 1.4%, or 10.2 million tonnes, above a revised 2012 figure. Much of the expected growth would stem from favourable weather conditions, which has fostered a recovery of plantings. Yet, subdued prospects for prices and rising costs are dampening the sector’s expansion.

FAO’s forecast of world trade in rice in calendar 2013 has been upgraded by 200,000 tonnes to 37.5 million tonnes (milled basis) on expectations of larger imports by China (Mainland) and Nepal and, on the export side, on larger expected deliveries by India, China (Mainland) and Myanmar. 

Global rice utilisation in 2013/14 is now forecast in the order of 490.7 million tonnes, 3% more than in 2012/13. Accounting for 83% of projected world use, consumption of rice as food is seen increasing to 408.8 million tonnes, with pro capita rice intake steady at 57.0 kg. Rice consumer prices have been stable to weaker in the past three months, with only a few Countries in Eastern Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean witnessing two digit surges.

FAO’s forecast of world rice stocks at the close of marketing seasons ending in 2014 has been raised reflecting expectations of build ups in India, but also, Egypt, Thailand and Viet Nam. Stocks forecasts in Indonesia, Mali, Myanmar and the Philippines, however, were subject to a cut. World rice inventories are now expected to increase by 4%, or 7.2 million tonnes, to 181.2 million tonnes, which would mark the ninth consecutive year of world stock accumulation. As a result, the global stocks-to-use ratio would rise from 35.5% in 2013 to 36.2% in 2014.

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