Nathan W. Childs, senior rice market analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Economic Research Service presented information on the domestic and international rice situation at the 2011 USA Rice Outlook Conference.

Childs reported record rice supplies in 2011-2012 driven by area increases, stocks at the highest level since 2002-2003, and stocks-to-use ratio of 21 percent. He noted that despite the 23 percent decline in U.S. rice production in the current marketing year, rice yields are 7 percent higher than the previous year.    

Childs predicted that in marketing year 2012-2013, there would be no change in global rice yields, an increase in area in the United States, higher U.S. exports, and lower trading prices. He also expects an increase in domestic usage, attributable to population growth.  

Of the top five rice-exporting countries, the United States ranks fourth behind Thailand, Vietnam, and India, followed by Pakistan.  These five countries make up 80 percent of all global rice exports, Childs said.