WORLD – Global milled rice trade this year is predicted to drop 2.5 per cent from that of 2014 to 41.3 million tonnes, due mainly to good stockpiles or higher production in Asia, the United Nations food agency has said.

Global paddy output in 2015 is forecast to edge up 1.1 per cent from last year to 749.8 million tonnes, Reuters quoted the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to have said in its rice market monitor report for April.

Thailand is expected to be the world’s largest rice exporter this year with shipments of 11.2 million tonnes, followed by 9.3 million tonnes from India and 6.5 million tonnes from Vietnam.

As such, the three Asian nations would account for a combined 65 per cent of the world’s rice trade, down slightly from 68 percent last year.

FAO revised up India’s rice exports last year to 11.3 million tonnes from 8.2 million tonnes estimated earlier, making it the world’s largest exporter in 2014, followed by Thailand with 11 million tonnes and Vietnam with 6.5 million tonnes.

China, which was the world’s biggest importer last year along with Nigeria, is forecast to raise its import volumes by 5.2 percent to 3.2 million tonnes in 2015 due to higher demand in the mainland, the report said. Nigeria’s purchases abroad are forecast to dip 3.3 per cent to 2.9 million tonnes in 2015.

Rice output in China, also the world’s top producer, is forecast to edge up 0.2 percent to 208.5 million tonnes this year, FAO said. Last year China and Nigeria each bought three million tonnes of rice from abroad

April 12, 2015;