Global Rice Market Outlook

  • The global supply of rice has been rising slowly at a CAGR of 0.61 percent over a period of five years. Production in 2016–2017 is expected to reach 481.08 MMT. This supply is, however, considered a surplus, as a result of which global prices are falling 
  • The key factors driving the growth include consumption of rice as a staple food, growing production in regions, like Thailand, Vietnam, and India, and demand for certain rice varieties from the regions, like the Middle East, for the use in delicacies and during festive seasons


  • Animal feed producers procure large volume of broken rice, which could be more than 1,000 MT in six months. Ideally, a 3–6-month contract duration is preferred for this sector 
  • Food producers normally procure a small amount of rice, such as 200–500 MT, on a monthly basis. For this industry as well, a 3–6-month contract can be negotiated with the suppliers
  • Thai rice prices are expected to witness an upward trend in the future months. Thus, large buyers, who choose fixed-price  contract (>3 months), can negotiate the contract length to three months to leverage on rising prices and achieve significant cost savings. Small and mid-size buyers can opt for spot buying in July 2017 
  • Prices are expected to be on an increasing trend from August 2017, recovering from its lowest point. This could be the best price-lock period for contracts 
  • Indian rice prices could witness a downward trend in the future months. Thus, large buyers, who choose fixed-price  contracts (>6 months) should reduce the length of their contracts to less than six months to leverage on falling prices and achieve significant cost savings. Small and mid-size buyers could opt for spot buying from November 2017 onward 
  • Prices are expected to increase from August 2017, which is its lowest point, until commencement of harvest. This month could be the best price-lock period for contracts 

Global Supply–Demand Analysis

Global production has risen slowly at a CAGR of 0.32 percent over the past five years, due to stable demand, as rice is a staple food 
Although Bangladesh, China, and Indonesia rank highest in production, their consumption volume is equivalent. Therefore, these countries do not set the trends in the rice market as opposed to Thailand, Vietnam, and India, who are major players 

  • World’s rice production is estimated to rise by 1.7 percent as compared to last year, due to recovery in Asian regions, like Thailand and India, from the last year’s drought
  • The production CAGR, over the past five years, has been 0.32 percent, which implies a slow but an upward growth rate 
  • In the case of major rice producers, like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China, the consumption volume is close to or higher than the production volume. Therefore, these regions do not play a major role in the global export market
  • Countries, like India, Vietnam, and Thailand, who produce rice in excess of domestic demand, are the key regions influencing global rice trends

Global Demand Analysis 

  • China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. The country does not export rice, as the local demand is high 
  • India and Vietnam are the two major rice exporters among the top five consumers of rice. Thailand is the world’s sixth largest rice producer and consumer as well as a major exporter 
  • The rice is mainly consumed as a staple food in these countries, and also for the use in delicacies, like biryani

Global Rice Trade Dynamics 

  • The export market share of Thailand has increased by 5.2 percent, while India’s share has declined by 4.8 percent over a five-year period. The former has displaced the latter as the top global exporter, since Thai aromatic rice competes with Indian basmati rice 
  • Rice trade volume has declined since 2013–2014, owing to restriction on imports by Iran in the form of bans and high duties. The Nigerian import share dropped by 1.7 percent over five years, due to limiting imports in a drive toward self-sufficiency