FAO lowers paddy forecast after poor monsoon in India
New Delhi: United Nation's body FAO has revised global paddy production forecast downwards by 7.8 million tonnes to 724.5 million tonnes for 2012 mainly on account of poor monsoon rains in India.
Earlier in April, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had pegged global paddy production at 732.3 million tonnes for the current year. World paddy production in 2011 is pegged at 713 million tonnes (about 476 million tonnes on milled basis).
"FAO has lowered its April forecast of global paddy production in 2012 by 7.8 million tonnes following a worsening of the outlook in Asia. The downward revision mainly concerned India, where the critical monsoon rains were 22 per cent short of the Long Period Average (LPA) by mid-July," it said.
Global paddy output is expected to total 724.5 million tonnes (483.1 million tonnes on a milled basis), compared with the forecast in April of 732.3 million tonnes (488.2 million tonnes on a milled basis), FAO added.
"Production forecasts were also reduced for Cambodia, the Chinese Province of Taiwan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and Nepal, all of which may see a production drop in 2012," it pointed out.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rains in the country are deficient by 18 per cent so far in the current monsoon season, which runs from June to September, affecting sowing of major kharif (summer sowing) crops like rice, pulses and oilseeds.
The acreage under rice in the country fell by 10 per cent to 233.68 lakh hectares so far in the ongoing kharif season from 258.6 lakh hectares in the same period last season.
India produced a record 104.32 million tonnes of rice in the 2011-12 crop year (July-June) against 95.98 million tonnes of the grain in the 2010-11 crop year.
However, the global body on the farm sector noted that the 2012 output forecasts in China (Mainland), Indonesia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Thailand and the United States were all scaled up.