You are here: HomeBusiness2023 11 19Article 712007

Business News of Sunday, 19 November 2023


'No more 60k/bag' - Price of rice to crash as report links Nigeria, other countries as top importers

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

A new report by the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said that Nigeria is projected to be a top rice importer globally, with about 2.1 million metric tons of rice in 2024.

The report stated that the global rice business will hit about 52.85 million tons by 2024, with more exports expected from Brazil and South Korea and more anticipated imports from Burkina Faso, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

Per the report, weaker rice production is expected in Nigeria and seven other countries.

The commodity’s production is projected to drop in Japan and South Korea due to diet changes and declining and ageing populations.

Weaker crops are also projected in 2023/2024 for Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mali, Nigeria, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.

The report states that rice production in 2023/2024 is projected at about 517.8 million tons, a decline of 340,000 tons from last month’s projection but 4.4 million tons larger than a year earlier.

“Out of the projected rice production figure, Nigeria is expected to produce about 5.23 million tons, the report reads.

Nigeria will likely be the leading importer of rice in 2024, according to data from the report.

Nigeria will be followed by Indonesia with an import projection of 2 million metric tons and Brazil with a projected 900,000 metric tons in imports.

The report said that the import forecast for Nigeria was increased by 100,000 metric tons from the October projections.

It noted that the increase is due to stronger demands than expected for rice import due to high prices for domestic rice and quality concerns.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently lifted Forex restrictions on rice and 42 other items in 2015.

Analysts say the move will encourage rice imports, among other items in the country.

Mixed reactions have trailed the CBN action, with some farmers supporting the move while others saying it will discourage local production.

Some farmers said the action breaks the monopoly of the processing and marketing of grain by local producers.

Data from the Thai Rice Exporters Association show a reduction in rice import, with a decline of 98.4% in the first seven months of 2021 and 2022.