Rice Quarterly: World rice trade buoyant as production and stocks fall

by Emily Wilson
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USDA raised its 2002-03 global rice production forecast to 345.8 million tonnes (milled basis), almost 4% below a year earlier and nearly 7% below the 1999-2000 record of 371 million tonnes.

Global rice consumption for 2002-03 is projected at 369.9 million tonnes. Global ending stocks are projected at 95.7 million tonnes, 20% below a year earlier and the lowest ending stocks since 1987-88.

Pakistan’s 2002-03 production forecast was raised 317,520 tonnes to 3.5 million based on larger plantings and a higher yield, while a record yield for the U.S. crop raised estimates to 6.01 million. Higher yields also put Nigeria’s production forecast up by 90,720 tonnes, to 2.2 million — the largest since 1995-96.

Partially offsetting these increases were four downward revisions: severe rain caused South Korea’s 2002-03 production to be lowered by 181,440 tonnes to 4.5 million; Japan’s crop was lowered 90,720 tonnes to 7.3 million, also due to a lower yield; Gambia’s crop was cut some 8,000 tonnes to 11,793 and Mauritania’s was lowered 6,350 tonnes to 30,844.

Global rice trade predicted for calendar year 2003, at almost 23.8 million tonnes (milled basis), is virtually the same as a year earlier and second only to the 1998 record of 25 million tonnes.

The Philippines accounts for the largest share of higher imports, at 725,760, based on government statements regarding 2003 import needs. On the export side, Vietnam’s exports were raised 272,160 tonnes to 3.4 million based on higher global demand. In addition, Pakistan’s exports were raised 181,440 tonnes to 907,000, based on a larger crop.