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Global rice production to hit record high

24 May 20244 min reading

In the 2024/25 season, global rice production is projected to reach 527.6 million tons, marking an increase of 10.3 million tons from the previous season, as detailed in the latest USDA Grain: World Markets and Trade report. This increase is primarily attributed to significant gains in rice production in key producing countries, including India and China, which together account for more than half of global rice production.

India is expected to achieve a record high rice production of 138 million tons, contributing significantly to the overall increase in global output. Similarly, China is forecast to see an uptick in rice production, reaching 146 million tons for the upcoming season. Other major rice-producing countries such as Indonesia, with an estimated 34 million tons, and Bangladesh, projected at 38 million tons, are also expected to witness larger crops, alongside increases in Burma and Pakistan.

However, the surge in production is accompanied by a rise in global rice consumption, which is projected to reach a record 526.4 million tons. Consumption in India, the second-largest rice-consuming country, is projected to reach a record high at 120 million tons, as the Government of India continues to allocate rice in public distribution programs. In contrast, China's rice consumption is projected to decline for a third consecutive year, mainly due to decreased utilization of rice as a substitute for coarse grains in feed.

The report highlights that global rice stocks are forecast to increase by 1.2 million tons to 176.1 million tons. China and India collectively account for 80 percent of global rice stocks, primarily due to their public stockholding programs. Additionally, the United States is expected to see a 12 percent increase in ending stocks, attributed to large carryin stocks and record imports.

INDONESIA AND CHINA TO REDUCE RICE IMPORTS

The report also outlines changes in rice imports and exports for the 2025 season. Indonesia, with a larger crop and sufficient beginning stocks, is forecast to reduce rice imports by 2.0 million tons to 1.5 million tons. Similarly, China is expected to continue its multi-year decline in imports, forecast at only 1.5 million tons. This is well below the tariff-rate quota of 5.3 million tons as high global prices reduce the incentive to import.

On the other hand, the Philippines is projected to increase rice imports to a record 4.2 million tons, making it the largest global rice importer. Vietnam is also expected to import a record 3.0 million tons, driven by rising demand for paddy rice from Cambodia. European Union imports are forecast unchanged at 2.2 million tons, making it the third-largest global importer. EU consumption is forecast to rebound and is a near-record high. 

GLOBAL RICE TRADE OUTLOOK

In terms of exports, India is forecast to remain the largest rice exporter, with exports projected at 18 million tons, up 1.5 million tons from the previous year and accounting for over a third of global rice trade. This increase is attributed to a larger crop and ample stocks, despite trade-restrictive measures for a portion of rice exports. 

Vietnam exports are forecast at 7.5 million tons, down 500,000 tons from the prior year, primarily due to sharply lower demand from Indonesia. The Philippines and China, together accounting for over 50 percent of Vietnam exports, are expected to continue purchasing large amounts of rice. Demand for Vietnamese rice in Sub-Saharan Africa remains steady, led by Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

Thailand rice exports are forecast at 7.5 million tons, down 900,000 tons from the prior year. Lower demand is expected from Southeast Asia, particularly from Indonesia. Pakistan exports are down 300,000 tons to 5.2 million tons mainly due to lower demand from Indonesia and expected increased competition from India. The 2024/25 production is forecast at a record high, which will keep Pakistan export prices competitive.  Cambodia exports are projected at 2.9 million tons, reflecting continued strong exports of paddy rice to Vietnam, in addition to growing milled rice exports. Strong import demand from rice mills in Vietnam has resulted in sustained large volumes of cross-border trade.

South America's rice exports are forecast to rise, driven by larger production and higher carryin stocks from top suppliers such as Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. Brazil, in particular, is expected to experience the largest increase in exports, reaching 1.3 million tons.

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