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Asia Pacific Food Situation Update - February 2013

Situation Report
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FAO raises forecast for Asia paddy production

Robust production in several Asian countries has prompted FAO to revise upwards its forecast for 2012 paddy production across the region by 1.6 million tonnes, or 0.9 percent, to a total of 662 million tonnes (441.6 million tonnes on a milled basis), according to its latest Rice Market Monitor released in early February.

China, Indonesia and Thailand drove the increase with greater-than-expected production, but record-breaking crops are also predicted in Cambodia, the Philippines and Viet Nam. The report called the outlook favourable in Iran, Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. But bad weather will likely result in production drops in India, Taiwan (Province of China), the Republic of Korea and Nepal.

Globally, FAO raised its paddy production forecast from its last report in November by 1.5 million tonnes to 730.2 million tonnes (486.9 million tonnes on a milled basis). That total would be 5.7 million tonnes more than what was produced in 2011, a modest increase according to FAO. The organization lowered its forecast for the international rice trade in 2013 by 600 000 tonnes to 37 million tonnes on a milled basis. But global rice utilization is projected to rise to 476 million tonnes, 1 million tonnes more than previously anticipated and a 1.5 percent increase.