The 1999/2000 total foreign rice production is forecast at a record 383.0 million tons (milled-basis), up 7.0 million or 2 percent from 1998/99. The projected record output is based on a slight increase in total area and assumes normal weather in all growing areas. Record or near-record crops are expected in the major producing countries, and large or record crops are projected for all major exporting countries as well. For rice currently being planted in Asia, rainfall has been adequate and timely, allowing producers to plant their crops without delaly. The first official USDA forecast of individual countries' area, yield, and production will be released July 12, 1999.