The US has downsized world’s rice production by 15 million tonnes following an estimated decline in output of an equal quantity of the grain in India possibly due to drought.

In July the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had projected India’s rice output to be at 99.5 million tonnes for 2009—10 season. It has now downsized it to 84 million tonnes.

The world’s rice production has been estimated to be at 433.46 million tonnes, which the USDA had earlier pegged at 448.98 million tonnes in July.

Experts said there is no possibility of any increase output in any other rice producing country like Indonesia and Thailand after fall in India.

They said as many as 177 out of 626 districts in India are in the grip of drought. The rainfall deficit is about 29 per cent so far. These factors would definetely have an adverse impact on rice crop.

The USDA has kept its forecast unchanged for leading rice exporters Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, which are expected to harvest 81.40 million tonnes in 2009—10.

While Indonesia is expected to produce less rice than last year, Vietnam and Thailand might see a marginal increase in their output.

China, the world’s largest rice producer, is expected to contribute 135.10 million tonnes to the world’s total rice production. It had produced 134.33 million tonnes last year.

Keywords: RiceFood securitydrought