WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on July 13 a 12.5-million-cwts reduction in the forecast for the U.S. crop to 187 million cwts, down 23% from a year earlier and the smallest since 1998-99.

The downward revision is based on a much lower area estimate — the smallest since 1987-88 —reported in the June Acreage report. The import forecast was raised 1 million cwts to 19 million cwts. In addition, the 2011-12 carryin forecast was lowered 6 million cwts to 50.6 million cwts, still the largest since 1986-87.

Total use of U.S. rice in 2011-12 was lowered 5 million cwts to 227 million cwts, with exports accounting for all of the downward revision in total use. The U.S. 2011-12 export forecast was lowered 6 million cwts to 100 million cwts. By class, long-grain accounts for all of the downward revision in exports. By type, projections for both rough- and milled-rice exports were each lowered 3 million cwts. In contrast, the total domestic and residual use forecast was raised 1 million cwts to 127 million cwts. On balance, these revisions resulted in a 12.5-million cwts reduction in the U.S. ending stocks forecast to 29.6 million cwts, almost 42% below a year earlier.

Based on the June Rice Stocks report, total stocks of rice on June 1, are calculated at 80.1 million cwts (combined rough- and milled-rice stocks on a rough basis), 16.4 million cwts above a year earlier. Despite the year-to-year increase, the June 1 stocks indicated higher than previously forecast domestic and residual use in 2010-11.

Global rice production for 2011-12 is projected at 456.3 million tonnes, fractionally below last month’s forecast, but still the highest on record. This month, a large reduction in the U.S. crop estimate more than offset an increase for Egypt. Projected global disappearance for 2011-12 was lowered 1.7 million tonnes to 456.3 million tonnes, still a record high. Global ending stocks were lowered 1.4 million tonnes to 96.3 million tonnes, virtually unchanged from 2010-11.