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Indian rice crop to decline in 2005
India's rice crop, affected by an erratic monsoon last year, is projected to recover in 2005, although Indian rice exports will decline marginally this year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its latest global rice market as sessment issued here.

Irregular rainfall during the 2004 kharif crop season is estimated to have resulted in a 2 per cent decline in production to 127 million tones, but India's 2005 paddy harvest is projected at 131 million tones, according to the March 2005 issue of FAO's R ice Market Monitor released yesterday by the FAO Asia-Pacific Regional Office.

Indian rice exports, reduced sharply from 4.4 million tonnes in 2003 to 2.6 million tonnes last year, are projected to decline to 2.5 million tonnes in 2005. India was the fourth largest rice exporter in 2004 behind Thailand (10.1 million tonnes), Vietnam (4.1 million tonnes) and the United States (3.2 million tonnes). Pakistan was the fifth largest rice exporter last year shipping out 1.9 million tonnes.

No change is expected in the first five rice exporting nation rankings in 2005, though Thai rice exports are projected to decline by nearly 2 million tonnes. The good 2004 harvest should allow Pakistan to raise exports to 2.2 million tonnes this year, de spite a recent hike of import tariffs in its traditional markets of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, notes the FAO assessment.

India's rice stocks are also projected to slip from 12.4 million tonnes in 2003-04 to 10.5 million tonnes in 2004-05 as the country dips into its reserves to meet export commitments.
MGR Archive 6.4.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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