Production down22 % yoy
tonnes per hectare
Rice production declined by 22% year-on-year. Lower water allocations ahead of the season contributed to reductions in the area planted to rice, however favourable growing conditions resulted in high yields.
Production decreased 22% to 630,000 tonnes despite favourable seasonal conditions after planting.
Water allocations were lower for the 2018 season, with general security allocations in the Murrumbidgee Valley estimated at 33% of total availability (Sep to Dec 2017). With water allocations nearly half that of the previous year, the area planted was down 27% year-on-year1, 42, 43.
With favourable conditions, yields were higher year-on-year, reaching an average of 10.5 tonnes per hectare, and as high as 14.8 tonnes per hectare in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area for a Reiziq crop90. By comparison, the global average yield was 4.5 tonnes per hectare97.
Prices paid to growers were up significantly year-on-year as a result of reduced plantings and overall production. Indicative prices for the 2018 harvest ranged from $355 per tonne to $400 per tonne91. However, fixed price contracts for the 2018 harvest were offered at $520/tonne (Koshihikari), $450/tonne (Doongara) and $360 per (Reiziq)111. The net result is that prices were expected to increase 30% to an average of $407/tonne2.
Global prices increased in 2018, with the FAO All Rice Price Index 12.2% higher than last year. The Japonica Index, had increased 15.2% over the previous year. Almost all rice grown in Australia is from the Japonica variety.
Global production is forecast to increase 1% to 491 million tonnes in 2017–18, while global consumption is expected to rise by the same level. Like production and consumption, global ending stocks of rice are estimated to reach a historic high of 146 million tonnes in 2017–1896.