Largely driven by lower expectations in China, FAO has cut its April forecast of global paddy production in 2011 by 1.5 million tonnes to 718.3 million tonnes (478.9 million tonnes, milled basis).
The outlooks for Colombia, Nigeria and the United States also worsened, while they improved in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. At the revised forecast, world paddy production would be 17 million tonnes, or 2.5 percent, above the good 2010 outcome, striking a new record. The increase would arise from a 1.5 percent expansion of plantings to 164.7 million hectares and a 0.9 percent gain of yields to 4.37 tonnes per hectare.
Although dependent on the unfolding of the monsoon rains in coming months, FAO’s outlook for production in Asia remains favourable despite a downward revision since April. A sizeable increase of production in India is much behind an expected 2.5 percent expansion of output in the region, but larger crop are also anticipated in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China (Mainland), Indonesia, Iraq, DPR Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam. In addition, production is set to recover in the Chinese Province of Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, the Lao PDR, Myanmar and Pakistan, while it may fall in Japan and Sri Lanka. The outlook for production in Africa has been upgraded, now pointing to a 2 percent expansion.
The increase primarily reflects expectations of steady growth in Western and Eastern Africa, while efforts to preserve water may keep output stable in Northern African countries (mainly Egypt) at a relatively low level. A contraction in Madagascar is behind expectations of a slight decline of production in Southern Africa. In Central America and the Caribbean, the sector is set to expand by 4 percent, driven by gains in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, while output may fall in Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama.
As for the 2011 season in South America, which is about to conclude, production prospects have improved. They now point to a 14 percent rebound from the 2010 contracted level, spearheaded by Brazil, with further increases expected in the other producing countries, except for Ecuador and Peru, which may witness a contraction. In North America, the outlook for the United States has continued to deteriorate since April, marred both by drought and widespread floods. By contrast, in Europe, positive results are forecast in the EU and in the Russian Federation. In Oceania, Australia is estimated to have harvested this season four times the level gathered in 2010.
FAO’s forecast of 2011 world trade in rice has been raised by 1.4 million tonnes since April to 33.2 million tonnes (milled basis). The revision reflects larger than previously anticipated imports by Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Nigeria, which more than offset downward revisions in Colombia and the Philippines. On the export side, the adjustment reflects improved delivery prospects for Brazil, India, Thailand and Viet Nam, which outweighed poorer forecasts for China and the United States.