USDA Outlook: Global rice production forecast to rise 3% year-over-year to a record 462.7 million tons in 2011/2012 driven by expanded planted area; global rice ending stocks to increase 3% to 100.1 million tons

WASHINGTON , February 13, 2012 (press release) – The following article is excerpted from the February Rice Outlook published by the Economic Research Service of the USDA.

INTERNATIONAL RICE MARKET

Production Forecasts for 2011/12 Raised for India and the Philippines

The 2011/12 global rice production forecast was raised 1.3 million tons this month to 462.7 million tons (milled basis). The crop is almost 3 percent above a year earlier and the highest on record. Australia, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan account for most of the projected global production increase in 2011/12. In contrast, production is substantially lower in 2011/12 than a year earlier in Brazil and the United States.

The bumper global crop is largely the result of expanded area. At 160.2 million hectares, global harvested area in 2011/12 is the highest on record, with South Asia accounting for most of the projected increase. The average yield of 4.33 tons per hectare (rough-basis) is fractionally above a year earlier and the highest on record.

The largest production increase this month was made for India, with the production estimate raised 2.0 million tons to a record 102.0 million tons, with both the area and yield forecasts raised. The U.S. Agricultural Counselor in New Delhi reported that favorable 2011 monsoon rains combined with overall good weather conditions in the major rice producing areas resulted in expanded kharif rice acreage and a record kharif crop. The much smaller dry-season rabi crop has not yet been harvested.

The Philippines 2011/12 production forecast was raised 140,000 tons to 10.64 million based on recently released Government data projecting production to increase significantly in the first quarter of this year. The upward revision was the result of a higher yield forecast; total area was lowered slightly. The total crop is projected up 1 percent from a year earlier. The Government of the Philippines is trying to reduce the country’s dependency on imports by increasing production.

These two upward revisions were partially offset by several downward revisions. First, Egypt’s 2011/12 production estimate was lowered 400,000 tons to 4.3 million tons based on information from U.S. agricultural counselor in Cairo indicating smaller area and a weaker yield. Despite this month’s downward revision, the crop is 39 percent above a year earlier and a near-record. The bumper crop was the result of a record harvested area of 730,000 hectares. Second, Brazil’s 2011/12 crop was lowered 340,000 tons to 7.82 million tons due to severe drought in the major growing State of Rio Grande du Sol. The downward revision was the result of a lower yield. Brazil’s 2011/12 production is projected to be 16 percent smaller than a year earlier, with both area and yield much lower.

There were two smaller production revisions this month. Argentina’s 2011/12 crop was lowered 39,000 tons to 975,000 based on information from the U.S. Agricultural Counselor in Buenos Aires that dry conditions were reducing the effectiveness of irrigation. Both area and yield estimates for Argentina were lowered this month. Finally, the U.S. 2011/12 crop estimate on a milled basis was lowered 63,000 tons to 5.874 million due solely to a lower milling yield. The rough-rice crop estimate is unchanged. The U.S. crop is down 23 percent from a year earlier due to much smaller area.

The 2010/11 global production estimate was raised 0.7 million tons to 451.2 million tons, up 2 percent from a year earlier. India accounted for most of the upward revision in production. India’s 2010/11 crop estimate was raised 0.7 million tons to 96.0 million tons based on final government data reporting a higher yield. In addition, Brazil’s 2010/11 crop estimate was raised 43,000 tones to a record 9.3 million tons based on slightly higher area. In contrast, Argentina’s 2010/11 crop was reduced 18,000 tons to 1.12 million based on government data reporting a lower yield.

Global disappearance for 2011/12 is projected at 459.9 million tons, fractionally above last month’s forecast and the highest on record. Thailand and Vietnam account for most of this month’s upward revision in the global. Global disappearance is 2.6 percent larger than a year earlier, with India accounting for the largest share of the year-to-year increase in global disappearance. Disappearance is also projected to be higher in 2011/12 in Bangladesh, China, Thailand, and Vietnam; but is projected to decline in Brazil, the Philippines, and the United States. In addition to consumption, disappearance for any country includes unreported losses in processing, transporting, and marketing.

Global ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 100.1 million tons, virtually unchanged from last month’s forecast, but 3 percent larger than a year earlier. Ending stocks forecasts for the Philippines and the United States were raised slightly this month. China, India, and Thailand account for most of the year-to-year increase in global ending stocks. In contrast, ending stocks are projected to decline in 2011/12 in Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States. This is the fifth consecutive annual increase in global ending stocks, with ending stocks the highest since 2002/03. The global stocks-to-use ratio for 2011/12 is calculated at 21.8 percent, virtually unchanged from 2010/11.

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