International rice prices tumbled in September, reflecting the imminent arrival of new crops on the market and the need to free storage space. The slide was also facilitated by a more lenient implementation of the high price policy in Thailand, which resulted in much lower Thai export quotations, but also weighed on those of its competitors.
Contradicting earlier expectations of a bumper season, the outlook for 2013 world rice production was recently downgraded, amid a worsening of crop prospects in China and India, the two largest producers. As a result, the forecast for global rice production (in milled equivalent) was lowered to 494 million tonnes, implying only a modest expansion of 0.9 percent from the revised 2012 estimate.
International rice trade is expected to decline both in 2013 and 2014. Next year, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Korea and the Philippines are anticipated to reduce their purchases, due to abundant domestic supplies. China’s imports, on the other hand, are likely to remain high, especially if the gap between domestic and international prices widens.
Among exporters, India is foreseen to curb shipments in 2013 and again in 2014, remaining nonetheless the leading rice exporter in both years. Expectations of lower international prices may depress 2014 deliveries from Pakistan, the United States and Viet Nam. Part of these
shortfalls is expected to be filled by Thailand, where the recent fall of export quotations is helping the country recoup its competitive edge.
Rice utilization is forecast to rise by 2.6 percent in 2013/14, with the implementation of India’s National Food Security Law contributing to lifting average per capita food consumption.
Despite its modest growth, world production is expected to exceed utilization in 2013/14, resulting in a further accumulation of stocks. As a result, the stock-touse ratio is predicted to rise from 35.7 percent in 2013 to 36.0 percent in 2014.
Source: Abdolreza Abbassian
Trade and Markets Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Via delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome - Italy
E-mail: Abdolreza.Abbassian@fao.org or firstname.lastname@example.org