Global rice production set to hit record in 2011-2012—FAO

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PARIS—The harvest of rice around the world in 2011-2012 should hit a new record of 721 million tons and lead to lower prices, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization said Wednesday.

With the growing season nearly over in the northern hemisphere and well underway in the southern, the FAO predicted in its latest quarterly report that rice production should increase by three percent from the previous year.

Adverse weather in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Pakistan had less of an effect than initially feared, it said.

Asia, which is the top producer of rice by far, is set for a three percent gain in production to 653 million tons. Africa was set for a one percent gain to 25.5 million tones.

The FAO estimates that this should enable the price of rice to continue falling in the coming months as stocks increase and imports decline.

It estimated that global trade in rice will decline by one million tons due to better harvests in traditional import countries.

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