WORLD RICE SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
World rice trade in calendar year 2000 is projected to reach 22.4 million tons, the second largest trade level on record behind the 1998 El Nino year. Trade is expected to increase 300,000 tons over 1999. Global production in 1999/2000 is forecast at a record 578.7 million tons (rough), up more than 10.0 million from 1998/99. Production increases resulting in record or near-record crops are expected in major exporting countries, including the United States and Thailand. Normal weather is also expected to yield higher production for importing countries in 1999/2000, benefitting Bangladesh and the Philippines. As a result, Asian import demand is estimated to return to a more normal, pre-1998 El Nino, level. Although Chinas 1999/2000 production is forecast to increase by over 7.0 million tons, ending stocks are expected to shrink for a second year.
The forecast for global rice trade in calendar year 1999 is increased marginally this month to 22.1 million tons. Projected 1998/99 production increases in Vietnam, as well as neighboring Cambodia and Laos, increase the production forecast by 1.0 million tons. Ending stocks are estimated 1.2 million tons higher largely due to increases in Indonesia and Bangladesh. Thai prices have trended downward over the past month. From a high of $265 five weeks ago, prices for high quality Thai 100B have declined to $252. Despite some softening over the past three weeks, U.S. prices firmed in early July, returning to the price level of a month ago.
United States rice exports in Calendar year 2000 are projected at 3.0 million tons, an increase of 250,000 from the current 1999 forecast. 1999/2000 production is expected to reach a record 9.4 million tons, rising 860,000 over the current year. The record crop is attributed to both an increase in area and higher yields, as relatively low prices for alternative crops brought additional land into rice production. Despite an anticipated decrease in rough rice exports in 2000, total U.S. rice exports are expected to increase, assuming more competitive U.S. prices.
Rice exports by Thailand are expected to increase to 5.7 million tons in 2000, up 200,000 from the 1999 forecast. 1999/2000 production is projected at 22.3 million tons, rising 600,000 year-to-year.
The 2000 rice export forecast for Vietnam is expected to remain flat, matching the 1999 forecast of 3.5 million tons. Production in 1999/00 is forecast to duplicate this years record level of 28.6 million (rough basis.)
Chinas 2000 rice exports are estimated to reach 1.9 million tons, an increase of 150,000 over 1999. Production is projected at 197.0 million tons (rough) in 1999/2000, a rebound of more than 7.1 million tons from the lower 1998/99 harvests. Still, growing Chinese domestic consumption is expected to heavily outweigh milled production in 1999/2000, resulting in a stock draw down of 1.4 million tons. Because Chinas burdensome stocks are an accumulation of mainly low quality, long grain rice (which is unlikely to ever enter the world market), smaller stock levels should have no resulting impact on world trade.
Calendar year exports by India are forecast to decline to 2.2 million tons in 2000, down 300,000 from the 1999 forecast owing to a decrease in demand from Bangladesh, the largest importer of Indias rice. Indias production is expected to match the record 1998/99 crop of 126 million tons. A steady growth in consumption paired with lower exports, will allow India to maintain ending stock levels of 11.0 million tons.
The 2000 export forecast for Pakistan is expected to equal the 1999 level of 2.0 million tons. A marginal decline in production will draw down ending stocks to their 1997/98 level of 122,000 tons.
Argentina and Uruguay are expected to export 600,000 and 700,000 tons respectively in 2000, a decline of 25,000 each as production returns to more normal levels across Latin America.
Forecast Taiwan exports in 1999 are increased to 100,000 tons, rising 75,000 based on sales and reported exports to date.
The 1999 export forecast for Egypt is lowered to 280,000 tons, down 20,000 due to tight export supplies and Egypts observed imports of rice in the current year.
Burmas export estimate for 1999 is raised this month to 200,000 tons based on abundant government-held stocks and pledges to increase sales in the world market. In 2000, Burmas exports are projected to remain flat at 200,000 tons.
The United States is expected import 310,000 tons of rice in 2000, an increase of 10,000 over the current 1999 forecast. Increased use of fragrant rice and speciality varieties are expected to continue to drive the U.S. import market.
Rice imports by Mexico are projected to increase by 40,000 ton in 2000 to 365,000, owing to lower production in 1999/2000
Regionally, imports are forecast to increase in 1999/2000 owing to an expected decline in production. Calendar year 2000 imports by Brazil are forecast to increase to 1.0 million tons. This 150,000 ton increase is attributed to a decline in production from the 1998/99 record level.
Increased imports in 2000 are anticipated as regional production is forecast to fall, as a result of severely dry weather conditions and reduced irrigation supplies across the Middle East in 1999/2000. Forecast rice imports by Iran in 2000 are expected to increase 250,000 tons to 900,000 after a two year low owing to an expected decrease in production caused by dry regional conditions.
Despite an increase in Africas projected rice production in 1999/2000, imports are also expected to rise as consumption grows in both rice producing and non-producing countries.
For the first time in a decade, Egypt is expected to import 40,000 tons of rice in 1999 to relieve tight supplies and dampen sharply rising domestic prices.
Rice imports are projected lower in 1999/2000, as production is anticipated to increase year-to year in South Asia. Due to a forecast record production of 29.3 million tons (rough basis), Bangladesh rice exports are expected to decline 300,000 tons to 1.0 million in 2000.
Even though record or near-record production levels are expected across Asia in 1999/2000, regional imports for 2000 are forecast to maintain nearly the same level as the current 1999 estimate. The 2000 import forecast for the Philippines is projected to drop to 900,000 tons, a decline of 300,000. 1999/2000 production is expected to rise by nearly 1.0 million tons (rough basis).
Rice imports by Indonesia in 1999/2000 are expected to remain flat at 2.5 million tons, and production will also stay at the same level as 1998/99.
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