WORLD RICE SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
Global rice trade in 2001 is estimated to rise to 24.4 million tons, an increase of more than two million tons over the previous year. While world production in 2000/2001 is forecast to decline narrowly to 593.6 million tons (rough basis), the second highest level on record, another record overall consumption is anticipated to top 401.5 million tons, resulting in a drawdown in global stocks to 60.8 million tons.
2001 Trade Changes
United States rice exports in calendar year 2001 are forecast to remain at 2.9 million tons, unchanged from the 2000 estimate. U.S. production in 2000/01 is estimated to decline eight percent to 8.8 million tons (rough basis) due to a decrease in area planted. Low commodity prices and high stocks have pressured farmers to scale back plantings this year. Rough rice exports are expected to remain robust, relative to milled and brown rice, as the U.S. continues to be the dominant global supplier of unhusked paddy rice.
Rice exports by Thailand are projected to increase to 6.6 million tons, a 10 percent climb over the 2000 forecast, though falling just short of the 1999 record level.
Vietnam exports are forecast to rebound to 4.0 million tons given the higher expected world demand in 2001.
The 2001 rice export forecast for China is estimated to increase to 3 million tons, 200,000 tons above the 2000 estimate, even though rice production is expected to decline to 196 million tons (rough basis), the lowest level in five years.
Rice exports by India and Pakistan are projected to climb in 2001 to 1.8 and 2.0 million tons respectively. India is forecast to harvest a record crop of 132.8 million tons in 2000/01, exceeding the previous years record and resulting in burdensome stock levels estimated to top 17.6 million tons.
Uruguay rice exports are expected to increase to 700,000 tons, while Argentinas are estimated to decrease to 350,000 tons as area to be planted in 2000/01 is forecast to decline in response to low world commodity prices.
Rice imports by the United States are expected to climb to 400,000 tons in 2001, increasing by 25,000 tons from the most recent 2000 estimate. Jasmine and Basmati rice dominate the U.S. import growth as the consumption of aromatic and speciality rice varieties increases.
Mexico is projected to increase rice imports, mainly in the form of rough rice, by 25,000 tons to reach 425,000 tons of rice (milled basis) in 2001.
While regional imports are projected to rise in 2001, imports by Brazil, the largest single buyer in Latin America, are forecast to remain at 700,000 tons for a second consecutive year as production is estimated at a near-record in 2000/01.
The 2001 rice import forecast for the Middle East is projected to increase as production is expected to shrink for a second year, due to drought and reduced water supplies. Iran rice imports are forecast to increase 30 percent, to 1.6 million tons, retaining the position of second largest importer for another year.
Low commodity prices and increasing consumption is expected to push African rice imports higher in 2001, as production is forecast only marginally higher. Nigeria rice imports are estimated to climb to one million tons in 2001.
Rice imports by South Asia, although growing slightly, are expected to remain at relatively low levels in 2001, primarily due to modest imports of only 500,000 tons by Bangladesh.
The strongest growth in 2001 imports is projected to be in Asia, due to increasing consumption paired with nearly flat production year to year, especially in the top world importers Indonesia and the Philippines. Indonesia is forecast to import an additional one million tons to reach an estimated three million tons. Forecast rice imports by the Philippines is estimated to increase 25 percent, rebounding to one million tons as production is projected to decline in 2000/01.
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