August 10, 2022 (MLN): Pakistan is all set to produce 8.9 million tonnes of rice in 2022-23, an all-time record high level of output and a third consecutive year of output growth, the latest report issued by Fitch Solutions forecasted.
The report is of the view that future yield growth in Pakistan’s rice sector remains balanced due to the continued introduction of higher-yielding varieties facilitated in part by state-supported credit programs to rice farmers and small enterprises and improved prevailing agronomic techniques and processes.
However, the temperature and rainfall volatility as well as elevated input costs pose downside risks.
The 2022/23 output forecast will see Pakistan remain the ninth largest rice producer in the world, having returned to the top ten following a fall to eleventh in 2019/20 on the back of a large YoY increase in the Brazilian rice harvest.
It is expected that country’s domestic consumption of rice will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0% between 2021/22 and 2025/26, to reach 4.7mn tonnes, alongside a rise in per capita rice consumption of 2.2% (CAGR).
As for rice production, 2022/23 will be a record year for rice demand in Pakistan, with total consumption up almost 1.0mn tonnes in the five preceding years – and 1.7mn tonnes over a decade.
Following on from production and consumption forecasts, Fitch sees Pakistan’s domestic rice production surplus rising from 4.7mn tonnes in 2021/22 to 4.8mn tonnes – marking a slight increase in the country’s exportable surplus. As such, Pakistan is set to remain one of the world’s largest rice exporters: between 2012 and 2021, the country oscillated between third and fifth in the ranking of national rice exporters and accounted for 8.2% of global rice exports in 2021, behind only Thailand (12.8%) and India (36.7%). Between 2017 and 2021, Pakistan exported rice to the value of USD 10,298.4mn with purchases led by Mainland China (11.4%), Kenya (8.6%), the UAE (7.8%), Afghanistan (5.9%), the UK (4.3%), Saudi Arabia (4.1%), and Kazakhstan (3.4%).