FAO says rice production outpacing consumption
Increasing rice production in Asia means that the region that consumes the most rice will not need to import so much of it. FAO forecasts that global rice trade in 2013 will reach 37.5 million tonnes (milled basis), marginally above the estimate for 2012, which was recently raised by more than 3 million tonnes to 37.3 million tonnes (milled), 2 percent more than in 2011 and an all-time record. The higher trade volume reflects expectations of large draw-downs from the huge inventories held by exporting countries as they make space for new crops.
"In particular, Thai sales, either through private traders or government to government deals, are forecast to rebound," according to the RMM. Shipments by Australia, Egypt, Pakistan and Viet Nam are also forecast to increase. But, India's 2012 production shortfall and rising domestic needs may reduce the country's exports next year, while Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, the United States and Uruguay are also expected to have lower sales in 2013.
Pending the arrival of the 2012 main season crops, large government purchases and stock building in Thailand plus lively purchases by African countries and China are causing international rice prices to firm up compared to the first four months of 2012. With Thailand extending its high producer price policy, Thai export quotations remain at a premium compared to other sources. This is depressing sales in 2012 and has compromised its long-standing primacy among global rice exporters.