Rice markets feel the China effect

by Chrystal Shannon
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Global rice production for 2001-02 is projected by U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Economic Research Service at 395.3 million tonnes (milled basis), more than 2 million tonnes below a year earlier and more than 3% below the 1999-2000 record. The bulk of the decline can be attributed to China, where at 126 million tonnes, the crop is the smallest since 1994-95. Australia’s production is also down, at 894,000 tonnes, the smallest since 1996-97.

Global consumption is projected at a record 405.5 million tonnes, slightly higher than last year. China will again impact global ending stocks, which are set to decline for the second consecutive year, down by more than 7% on last year at 126.6 million tonnes.

On the other hand, Bangladesh’s 2001-02 rice production estimates have been put at a record 25.5 million, while the crop projection for Indonesia is at near all time high of 33.1 million tonnes, due to larger plantings and a slightly higher yield. Peru’s production is also at a record 1.5 million tonnes and the Philippines is set to bring in more than 8.6 million tonnes, the largest crop record.

Global rice trade for calendar year 2002 is put at 23.1 million tonnes on a milled basis, 6% below last year. The year-to-year decline in global trade is primarily due to weaker projected imports for Nigeria, the Philippines, Cote d’Ivoire, and North Korea more than offsetting larger imports by Indonesia, Iran, and Russia.

Among the major exporters, Thailand, at 7.25 million tonnes, Pakistan, and China are projected to export less rice in 2002. India’s exports are predicted to reach 2.5 million based on a strong pace to date, record supplies, and competitive prices resulting from export subsidies. Vietnam, and the United States are also projected to expand exports. Burma’s 2002 exports are estimated at 600,000 tonnes and Peru’s at 50,000 tonnes.

Indonesia’s imports are estimated at 2.5 million tonnes, the largest import level for Indonesia since 1999. U.S. imports are placed at 400,000 tonnes, the Philippines 600,000 tonnes, Bangladesh 400,000 tonnes, South Africa at 500,000 tonnes and Peru’s imports at 65,000 tonnes.