Rice markets to stay tight in ‘09

Manila, October 15:

Rice markets the world over are likely to remain tight next year despite an expected record harvest after key producers clamped down on exports, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said today.

“The 2008-2009 rice market is likely to remain tight even with projected record global production of 432 million tonnes, a one per cent increase over last year’s 428 million tonnes,” Philippines-based IRRI said in its quarterly ‘Rice Today’.

The projected rise in output is mainly due to an extra one million hectares planted with rice, to a total 155.3 million hectares, with India accounting for more than half of the total increase,

it said.

However, “prices are likely to remain high partly in response to export restrictions imposed by key rice-producing countries,” said IRRI.

It added that the world would need an extra 59 million tonnes of milled rice by 2020 above the 2007 consumption of 422 million tonnes.