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General Characteristics

 - Rice is the staple in the diet for much of the world. It runs a close second to wheat in its importance as a food cereal in the human diet. About 670 Million Metric Tons of rice are grown annually compared to 680 MMT for wheat, 440 MMT for oil seeds, and 1090 MMT for coarse grains (corn, sorghum, barley, oats, rye, millet and mixed grains.). Rice production has more than doubled in the last 40 years. Most of the increase in production has been a result of improved field yields. Acreage planted in rice has only increased about 30 percent. Rice is best grown in flooded fields and so acreage is limited by soil type and supply of water. 

Rice field 

Rice types

World market 

 - Rice is mostly eaten in the same country where it is produced, so trade in rice is small, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of global production. With an average of 27 million tonnes, the size of the international rice market is only one quarter of that in wheat and little over one third of trade in maize. Since the early 1990s, the volumes of rice exchanged internationally have risen quantity-wise, but also in relation to production, resulting in a “deepening” of the rice international market. Nonetheless, this remains “thin” if compared with the other two major cereals, as rice traded on world markets only represented 7 percent of global production in 2010-12, compared with 18 percent for wheat and 11 percent for maize. 

World production 

 - Traditionally, countries in Asia have the largest share in world rice production. With over 200 million metric tons, China is the world’s leading rice producer, while India is the country with the largest area where rice is harvested. The United States produces more than eight million metric tons of paddy rice, which places it among the top 20 rice producers globally. Production value amounted to some 2.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. Leading U.S. states in rice production are Arkansas, California and Louisiana. The United States is among the top 5 rice exporters worldwide, primarily shipping this commodity to Mexico, Japan and Haiti.Other major rice exporting nations include Vietnam and India, with around 7 million metric tons each. The largest rice importers are Nigeria and Indonesia. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the averagerice price index remained relatively stable over the past few years. 


Global export 

 - Major rice exporters are Thailand, Vietnam, India, US, Burma and Pakistan. Share of exporters in total global trade has been uneven depending on uneven production, govt.’s policy regarding export and procurement and price parity. However, Thailand and Vietnam have been two regular and bigger exporters. India topped this year as the largest exporters due to opening up nonbasmati export. 

Global import


 - Global production for 2014/15 is slightly up as larger crops in China, Guyana, South Korea, and Vietnam more than offset a reduction in Indonesia. Global trade is up driven by Indonesia. Global consumption is unchanged, while stocks are slightly higher. U.S. production and trade are unchanged. Four months into 2014/15, commitments (sales plus shipments) for U.S. medium- and shortgrain rice have been lagging last year's pace. This is largely due to slower sales and shipments to Japan, Jordan, Korea, and Taiwan more than offsetting record sales to Turkey. With open tenders of traditional markets and tight supplies in other exporting countries, the pace is expected to pick up in coming months to fulfil the current forecast. In comparison, commitments for longgrain rice are ahead of last year, supported by recent sales to Iraq, improving commitments for all rice. U.S. exports are generally two thirds long-grain rice and one third medium- and shortgrain rice.