WORLD RICE SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
Global production in 2002/03 is projected at 394.5 million tons, nearly unchanged from 2001/02. Ending stocks, following the trend of the past few years, are projected to decline, with 2003 levels declining by 15.3 million tons to 109.0 million as the forecast for global consumption grows 2.5 million to 409.8 million tons.
United States calendar year exports are projected 50,000 tons lower than the current year at 2.9 million tons. Production in 2002/03 is projected at 6.4 million tons (milled basis), 379,000 tons less than 2001/02.
Calendar year exports for Thailand, the world’s largest exporter, are forecast flat at 7.5 million tons, as production is expected to remain unchanged from the previous year’s crop.
Vietnam’s exports are expected to increase to 3.25 million, up 450,000 tons from the 2002 forecast as it has become more price-competitive with India, particularly with lower quality rice. Production is anticipated to remain flat at 20.5 million tons (milled basis).
Exports by China are projected to climb 500,000 tons from the current year’s forecast to 2.0 million. With lower production estimates and higher projected consumption, ending stocks are expected to fall by 13.5 million to 69.0 million tons.
India is expected to remain a major market player with 2003 calendar year exports anticipated to remain consistent with the current year’s estimate of 4.5 million tons due to competitive prices and large exportable supplies resulting from the production (milled basis) that is expected to outpace consumption, following the trend of the past four years.
The export forecast for Pakistan is expected to fall from the current year’s projection of 1.25 million tons to 1.0 million as both production and consumption are forecast flat and ending stocks are projected to remain at around 200,000 tons.
Argentina’s exports are forecast at 300,000 tons, a drop of 50,000. Uruguay’s exports are projected to remain flat at 650,000 tons. This is a result of declining import demand in the region and year-to-year domestic production remaining steady.
Calendar year exports by Egypt are forecast to remain at 500,000 tons year-to-year as Egypt remains price-competitive, particularly in Turkey.
Burma’s exports are expected to expand 250,000 tons to 1.5 million as it remains price-competitive and have exportable supplies.
Importer Forecasts for 2003
The United States is projected to increase imports
slightly above the 2002 estimate to reach 430,000 tons.
Mexico is projected to maintain strong imports of paddy rice from the United States, with expected imports to remain steady at 500,000 tons.
Imports are expected to fall 100,000 tons to 2.0 million due to increasing regional production (projected at 14.4 million tons, an increase of 250,000). Brazil’s imports are anticipated to decline 200,000 tons to 400,000 with a stronger domestic production forecast.
With only marginally higher production estimates (milled basis), the region is forecast to increase imports in 2003 due in part to low ending stocks. Saudi Arabia’s imports are expected to remain flat at 1.0 million tons.
With production in 2002/03 expected to decline, while consumption remains flat, it is expected that there will be further draw-down in Africa’s stocks. Nigeria is projected to keep 2003 imports flat at 1.5 million tons, while import forecasts for Senegal are 250,000 tons lower at 750,000 following the high import estimate of 900,000 tons for 2002.
Regional production, imports, and ending stocks are forecast to increase while consumption is expected to see only a marginal rise year-to-year.
The 2003 imports for Bangladesh are forecast at 500,000 tons, up 100,000 from 2002. The larger imports result from low stocks and only a slight increase in production for 2002/03.
Asia’s imports are expected to rise for the third consecutive year, as both declining production and rising consumption trends continue. Stocks are projected to drop 17 million tons to 80 million. With increasing consumption, production projected flat and low stocks, Indonesia is expected to maintain its high import levels. The import forecast for the Philippines is flat, with ample stocks and only a slight reduction in production. Production estimates for Uzbekistan are anticipated to match the consumption increases, therefore keeping import estimates flat.
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