ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Recent flooding in Pakistan has damaged the rice crop and hindered wheat planting, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The report said rice output for the 2022-23 marketing year was revised down to 8.3 million tonnes, well below last year’s record total of 9.1 million. Projected rice exports also are reduced to 4.5 million tonnes in 2021-22, which would still be a record, and to 4.2 million tonnes in 2022-23.

“During the first six months of 2022, rice exports increased to almost all traditional markets, including Africa, the Gulf states and the EU, with shipments to China showing the most robust growth,” the USDA said.

The USDA noted that rice consumption estimates for 2021-22 and 2022-23 increased to 4.3 and 4.6 million tonnes, respectively, “as lifting of COVID restrictions has allowed for a resumption of social events, generating a positive impact on rice consumption.”

The USDA said the recent floods are likely to negatively impact the 2023-24 wheat planted area in Pakistan. With large areas of the Sindh province typically planted to wheat still submerged, the USDA said “it may be several months before the flood waters recede.”

Farmers normally beginning planting the wheat crop in mid-October through November in that region.