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Peru - rice production in 2004 to fall 25%?
GAIN, September 24, 2004
Though the severe drought that is affecting Peru will result in less rice production, the reduction will not be as dramatic as foreseen due to planting in new areas. Post has revised rice production in CY 2004 to 1.2 MMT, a 25 percent reduction compared to CY 2003. The harvested area for the 2004 crop was 280,000 hectares, 14 percent less than the harvested area in CY 2003. The reduction in harvested area is the result of two factors, less area planted, and the lack of water affecting the crop when it was already on the ground.

Rice imports in CY 2004 are now estimated around 80,000 MT. As a result of the government’s efforts to overcome rice shortage, it encouraged rice production in the oriental slopes of the Andes, especially in the department of San Martin. Rice production in this area grew 35 percent.

Prices in San Martin have increased from $132 to $271 per metric ton. Rice has become the most important economic activity in this area, there is almost no land left idle. The average producer owns three hectares, with production costs at about one thousand dollars per metric ton, and yields around seven metric tons per hectare; a producer makes a profit of $2,700 in five months, which is a considerable amount taking into consideration that minimum wage is $140 monthly.

Rice production in the northern coastal region fell 85 percent in CY 2004 due to the drought. Since CY 2005 is forecast as another dry year, a bumper rice crop is forecast in the San Martin area. The lack of rice production in the northern coast has reduced smuggling of rice into Ecuador CY 2004.

Peru’s record imports were in 1996 when imported 430,000 MT. Uruguay and the U.S. have usually shared the Peruvian rice market. Since 1997, Peru’s rice production began increasing rather rapidly causing imports to fall as low as 15,000 MT in 2003. U.S. rice exports to Peru also shrunk in the last six years to a point that they became almost non-existent in 2003, leaving the market exclusively to Uruguay. Most imported rice in Peru is targeted to the high-end market and sold packed in one-kilogram bags. In this sector, U.S. rice has usually been very competitive both in quality and price.

Imports for the last quarter of CY 2004 are estimated to increase significantly, totaling about 80,000 MT for the year, of which about 15,000 MT should be U.S. Peru is forecast to import around 70,000 MT of rice in CY 2005, which is a good opportunity for U.S. rice to recapture its market.
MGR Archive 26.9.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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