U.S. Among Countries Predicted With Declining Rice Acreage

   Global rice production in 2017/18 is forecast at 481.2 million tons (milled basis), down 2.6 million tons from the previous forecast and 5.4 million tons below the 2016/17 record. At 160.0 million hectares, global harvested area in 2017/18 is down 0.7 million hectares from a year earlier, with Bangladesh, China, India, the Philippines, and the United States accounting for the bulk of the area decline. The average global yield of 4.49 tons per hectare is down from the year-earlier record of 4.52 tons, with a weaker yield in India a major factor.
   This month, USDA lowered its 2017/18 crop forecasts for four countries. The largest downward revision was for India, where 20017/18 production was lowered 2.5 million tons to 107.5 million tons based on a 1.8-million hectare reduction in area to 42.7 million hectares. The area reduction was based on adverse weather in various parts of the country. India’s 2017/18 production is second only to the year-earlier record. In addition, Russia’s 2017/18 rice production forecast was lowered 50,000 tons to 650,000 tons based on smaller area reported by the Government.    Argentina’s 2017/18 production was lowered 46,000 tons to 834,000 tons, also due to smaller area. Finally, the U.S. 2017/18 crop was lowered 6,000 tons to 5.66 million tons due to a slightly lower yield reported by NASS in the November 9, Crop Production report.
   There were 3 production revisions this month for 2016/17. The largest was a 421,000-ton reduction in Vietnam’s 2016/17 production estimate to 27.55 million tons due to a reduced area estimate in the Mekong River Delta caused by adverse weather impacting its summer-autumn crop. The summer-autumn crop is typically harvested August-October. Peru’s 2016/17 production estimate was lowered 140,000 tons to 2.2 million tons based on slightly smaller area and a much lower yield. Finally, Brazil’s 2016/17 production estimate was raised 1,000 tons to 8.38 million based on an even higher record yield. Brazil’s area estimate was actually lowered.
   The 2017/18 global ending stocks forecast was lowered 2.6 million tons to 138.9 million tons, up 0.8 million from 2016/17 and the highest since the 2000/01 record of 146.7 million tons. India accounts for most of the month-to-month reduction in the 2017/18 global ending stocks forecast. China accounts for most of the year-to-year increase in 2017/18 global ending stocks.
   Global Rice Trade Projected Second Highest on Record in 2018
   Global rice trade in 2018 is projected at 45.1 million tons, down 0.6 million tons from the 2017 record and the second highest on record. On the export side, shipments in 2018 are projected to be smaller from Argentina, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, the United States, and Uruguay. In contrast, Australia, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam are projected to export more rice in 2018. On the import side, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka are projected to purchase less rice in 2018. In contrast, Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, and the Philippines are projected to import more rice in 2018 than in 2017. ∆
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