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USDA: India's rice output to decline

Staff writer ▼ | December 10, 2013
India's rice output is likely to decline to 103 million tonnes in 2013-14 on crop damage and exports are also expected to be lower at 10 million tonnes, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
India rice
India riceIndia's rice output is likely to decline to 103 million tonnes in 2013-14 on crop damage and exports are also expected to be lower at 10 million tonnes, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).


The likely crop damage has pushed up domestic rice prices strongly in November and this has been a major concern for the government, which may liquidate rice stock in the local market to check prices ahead of general elections, it said.

"Rice production has been lowered to 103 million tonnes (from 105 million tonnes) as the recent cyclones in the eastern coast and heavy rains have damaged the standing rice crop, which was at maturity and harvest stage, in eastern and southern states," the USDA said. Harvesting in the rain-affected areas have been significantly delayed as the mechanical harvesters are unable to operate due to wet soil conditions.

Although no official assessment of crop loss due to the recent cyclones and heavy rains is available, market sources report around 3 million tonnes of crop loss in the affected areas, the report states. Despite some drop, India's rice output would be it third highest crop ever, it said. The country had achieved an all-time output of 105.30 million tonne in 2011-12 and the second highest crop of 104.40 million tonne in 2012-13.

On impact of likely output fall on prices, the USDA said, "Domestic rice prices have gained strongly in November on reports of crop damage in Andhra Pradesh and other eastern state. Rising domestic rice prices over the last few months has been a major concern for the government. With the Parliamentary elections due in next five months, the government may liquidate its 'more than sufficient rice stocks' to contain any further increase in domestic prices."


 

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