NEW DELHI, INDIA — Rice production in India in marketing year 2022-23 is forecast to fall by 6% year on year to 122 million tonnes, according a Global Agricultural Information report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

The projected decline is due to unseasonal rains in October resulting in water logging as the rice crop nears harvest, the report said.

Rice ending stocks are forecast to drop by 18% in 2022-23 to 28 million tonnes on estimated lower opening stocks and weaker projected production, FAS said.

The report noted that domestic rice prices eased somewhat in September following the Indian government imposing export control measures. FAS said it expects domestic rice prices to strengthen in 2022-23.

“The expected lower rice harvest, along with continued strong export demand for white, milled rice, combined with the government MSP procurement of un-milled rice paddy will drive rice prices upward,” FAS said.

India is the world’s second largest rice producer, behind China, and is the leading exporter most years.