Rice – Global exports estimated at 50 million tonnes, led by India – AgFax

Rice is harvested in Prairie County, Arkansas. Photo: Fred Miller, University of Arkansas

The 2022 forecast for global rice exports is expected to exceed 50 million metric tons for the second year in a row, down only slightly from the 2021 record. especially in Africa, including Nigeria and the Ivory Coast, and Asia, including China and Nepal.

The additional demand was mainly provided by India, which has doubled its exports since 2019. While shipments for the next major exporters, Vietnam and Thailand, are expected to increase by 2022, India continues to dominate global trade.

India has ample supplies, with record production and almost record harvested area, as well as abundant start-up stocks. Over the last decade, India has steadily increased its minimum price support (MSP) for most of the supported goods, including rice, leading to a larger production area.

In addition, record yields have led to record production. In addition, the overall demand for low-priced rice is currently strong, and Indian rice has remained well below the prices of other exporters for 2 years (see the rice price chart on page 10). Finally, India has invested heavily in its deep-sea ports, allowing it to deliver in bulk in addition to regular containers.

Even with slightly lower imports by 2022, demand from some major importers will support strong exports from India. The major Chinese importer purchased significant quantities of broken Indian rice to supplement feed rations. Ironically, Vietnam, a major exporter, also imported significant quantities of broken rice from India.

India’s ability to supply both pre-seasoned rice and regular white rice at competitive prices will also boost exports to sub-Saharan Africa, where imports are expected to increase. Indian fragrant basmati rice will continue to dominate the global market, especially in the Middle East.

Sri Lanka will import a large amount of rice, despite the attempt at self-sufficiency

Against the background of a smaller harvest and sharply rising prices, it is estimated that rice imports from Sri Lanka will be the highest in the last 5 years.

In recent years, Sri Lanka has implemented various policies to seek self-sufficiency in rice production. The government offers a guaranteed price for black rice and fertilizer subsidies. However, in April 2021, the Sri Lankan government announced a ban on inorganic fertilizers and other agrochemicals.

Producers did not have enough alternative inputs to support this sudden national shift to government-encouraged organic farming. The ban was later lifted in November, but a lack of fertilizer affected the Maha crop, which accounts for almost two-thirds of annual production. Due to the limited availability of inputs, yields have declined and the rice harvest in 2021/22 is estimated to be 14% lower than the previous year.

Sri Lanka’s economy has been significantly affected by COVID-related macroeconomic factors. In April 2020, the government announced restrictions on imports of goods, including rice. With lower production and restricted imports, Sri Lankan prices rose to USD 790 / tonne in January, up 52% ​​from September. Consumers are facing high inflation for this essential staple food.

To reduce domestic prices, the government has reduced import duties to allow Sri Lanka State Trading Corporation to import. The country has begun negotiating government-to-government agreements to import rice. Some agreements have already been reached with India and Burma, two countries that have supplied Sri Lanka in the past. In addition, Sri Lanka has demanded 1 million tonnes of rice from China.

Full report. Rice – Global exports estimated at 50 million tonnes, led by India – AgFax

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