The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 10 estimated U.S. and world rice crops at record levels. The U.S.D.A. estimated the U.S. 2010 rice crop at 241.6 million cwts (rough equivalent of rough and milled rice), up 21.7 million cwts, or 10%, from 219.9 million cwts in 2009 and compared with the previous record at 232.4 million cwts in 2004. U.S. rice production increased in each of the past four years. U.S. 2010-11 beginning stocks at 36.7

million cwts combined with the record 2010 outturn and imports forecast at 19.5 million cwts made for the largest supply of rice in the United States ever recorded, at 297.8 million cwts. The U.S.D.A. projected domestic and residual use of rice in the United States in 2010-11 at 129 million cwts, up 6.4 million cwts, or 5%, from 122.6 million cwts in 2009-10. U.S. rice exports were projected at 119 million cwts, up 8.8 million cwts, or 8%, from 110.2 million cwts in the previous year. The forecast outgo would fall short of setting a new record. The United States exported 123.9 million cwts of all-rice in 2002-03. At the same time, the U.S.D.A. noted U.S. exports of medium/short-grain rice at 36 million cwts would be record high. U.S. all-rice ending stocks on Aug. 1, 2011, were forecast at 49.8 million cwts, up 13.1 million cwts, or 36%, from 36.7 million cwts in 2010. It would be the largest U.S. rice carryover since 1987.

The U.S.D.A. projected world rice production in 2010-11 at a record 452.41 million tonnes (milled basis), up11.18 million tonnes, or 3%, from 441.23 million tonnes in the previous year. The U.S.D.A. forecast 2010-11 world rice consumption at a record 452.97 million tonnes, up 15.37 million tonnes, or 4%, from 437.6 million tonnes in the previous year. World rice exports were forecast at 30.49 million tonnes, up 0.58 million tonnes from 2009-10 and compared with record exports of 31.5 million tonnes in 2006-07. World rice ending stocks in 2010-11 were projected at 94.76 million tonnes, down 0.56 million tonnes, or 1%, from 95.32 million tonnes in the previous year.