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Rice production to outpace consumption in 2013: FAO

Rice production to outpace consumption in 2013: FAORome, Nov 20 - The world rice production in 2013 is expected to outpace consumption, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The stock-to-use ratio is to rise from 33.6 percent in 2012 to 35.5 percent in 2013, resulting in an upward revision of 5 million tonnes in 2013 closing inventories, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.

"Compared to last year, world rice carryover stocks are expected to rise by seven percent, or 10 million tonnes, to a new high of almost 170 tonnes, marking the eighth consecutive year of stock accumulation," said FAO's Rice Market Monitor (RMM).

In Asia, where rice is the staple food, FAO projected paddy output will reach 661 million tonnes, or 441 million tonnes on milled basis, up 0.8 percent on 2011, underpinned by widespread gains and particularly large increases in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Beyond India, where production may fall by four percent, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Nepal and Turkey are also predicted to witness a decline," according to the RMM.

Output is rebounding in Africa thanks to better weather, which "has led FAO to raise the region's production forecast to 26.4 million tonnes," or 17.3 million tonnes on milled basis.

The outlook for rice production in Latin America and the Caribbean pointed to a six percent contraction to 27.4 million tonnes (18.3 million tonnes milled basis), as insufficient irrigation water and expectations of low margins depressed rice cultivation in many South American countries.

In other regions, FAO anticipated that output in the US will be boosted by record yields, while Australia is heading towards its best season since 2006. Russia looks set to harvest a bumper crop of rice, while unfavourable weather curbed production in the European Union. (IANS)