FAO scales down 2012 global rice output estimates to 483.5 MT
New Delhi: United Nation's body FAO scaled down its global rice production estimate by 7 million tonnes (MT) to 483.5 MT in the current year due to an expected fall in output mainly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh on account of erratic monsoon rains.
"The outlook for global rice production in 2012 has deteriorated significantly over the past four months, passing from FAO's forecast of 490.5 MT in June to the current 483.5 MT (milled basis)," Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its latest report.
The UN agency's 'Crop Prospects and Food Situation' report has also attributed reduced output to low production in Brazil, which is expected to have harvested 11.6 MT of rice (paddy) this year as against an estimated 13.6 MT in 2011.
An erratic progress of monsoon resulted in scaling back of output estimates in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan.
The current forecast of 483.5 MT is barely 1 MT (or 0.2 percent) more than the 2011 season's outstanding results, with all of the increase stemming from yield gains.
On India, the global body on the farm sector said rice production has been impacted by delayed and erratic monsoon.
"...India's harvest is forecast to be 6 percent smaller than the 2011 exceptional result, given a much less propitious distribution of the monsoon rains both time and space-wise," it added.
FAO has tentatively forecast the 2012 aggregate rice production in India at 98.5 MT (milled basis), which is 6 percent lower than the level of the previous year.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has also said rice production during this kharif season is expected to be lower than last year's level due to insufficient rains.
The Agriculture Ministry's first advance estimate has pegged rice production in the kharif (summer) season of 2012-13 crop year (July-June) at 85.59 MT.
India, the world's largest rice grower, had produced a record 91.53 MT in the kharif (summer) season of 2011-12 crop year, while the total production stood at an all time high of 104.32 MT during the year.