The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has revised downwards its forecast for global rice production in 2012 by 6 million tons mainly due to deterioration in crop prospects in Asian countries.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has revised downwards its forecast for global rice production in 2012 by 6 million tons mainly due to deterioration in crop prospects in Asian countries. The FAO said that rice production forecast for this year now stands at 483.3 million tons (basis milled), down about 6 million tons or 1% from the 489.1 million tons forecast in July, but still higher than the 482.3 million tons produced in 2011.

The FAO said that poor weather in several Asian countries caused the downward revision. The UN agency has already reduced India’s rice production for this year to 98.5 million tons, down about 6% from last year’s 104.3 million tons due to the delay in monsoon this year. Smaller crops are also expected in Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, the DPR Korea and Nepal, but larger crops are expected in China (Mainland), Indonesia and Thailand, according to FAO.

Global consumption of rice in 2012-13 stands at around 474 million tons, while rice inventories at the end of the 2013 marketing year are likely to reach 165 million tons, down about 2.5 million tons from the previous forecast, but enough to lift the global stock-to-use ratio from 32.9% in 2012 to 34.4% in 2013, said the FAO.

Meanwhile, the FAO Food Price Index in August averaged 213 points, unchanged from July 2012 when it had increased 6% from June.