Production:

Domestic rice production faces the same production difficulties as other grains, which are related to shortages of agrochemicals, fertilizers and planting seeds resulting in higher production costs, and reduced profitability. The state of Portuguesa is the most important producing region accounting for 58 percent of total rice production, while the state of Guárico produces approximately 34 percent of total production. Rice production in MY 2014 is left unchanged at 385,000 tons. In MY 2015, according to updated information from trade contacts and producer associations, Post is dropping its estimate for rice production to 380,000 MT due to dryer than normal weather conditions contributing to a reduction in overall yields in Guárico State. The trend of falling production will continue in MY 2016 due to the declining economic situation and problems in obtaining needed inputs. At this time, area planted and harvested will not change as farmers have no other alternatives and the government continues to promise increased subsidies and higher farm-gate prices. The reduction in production will continue to come in the form of lower yields due to the lack of fertilizer and other inputs, which could fall further if rain and reservoir water levels are lower than normal.

Consumption:

Rice is a traditional food and an important staple in the Venezuelan diet. Per capita consumption remains strong due to increases in population and the government's ability to maintain low controlled prices for a significant portion of the rice supply. According to rice millers and select producers, only about 30 percent of rice consumed is purchased at the lower controlled prices. The rest is sold at higher levels by intermediators in informal markets. Consumption in MY 2014 reached 680,000 tons and is expected to continue to rise due to population increases and sporadic shortages of other products. In addition, the government reported making deals to continue to import rice from neighboring Guyana and Suriname. Stock numbers remain residual figures, as there are no government or private sector programs to maintain food reserves.

Trade:

The Government continues to be the sole rice importer through the government agency, CASA. Rice imports are estimated to slightly decrease from 510,000 to 500,000 tons in MY 2015 and forecast unchanged in MY 2016 based on worsening economic conditions. Unofficial cross border trade with Colombia continues to be a problem as Venezuelan price controls and exchange rate disparities make the illegal trade profitable and viable. While there are no official statistics it is estimated that in MY 2014 about 200,000 tons of unofficial rice exports were shipped to Colombia, according to industry's best estimate. This number fell in MY 2015 as border controls were increased making more rice available for domestic consumption. In MY 2016, imports from the United States are expected to decline as agreements with neighboring countries were renewed, especially with Guyana and Suriname.

Rice, Milled

2013/2014

2014/2015

2015/2016

Market Begin Year

Apr 2013

Apr 2014

Apr 2015

Venezuela

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Harvested

140

140

140

140

0

140

Beginning Stocks

102

102

107

102

0

117

Milled Production

385

385

380

380

0

375

Rough Production

567

567

560

560

0

553

Milling Rate (.9999)

6,786

6,786

6,786

6,786

0

6,786

MY Imports

500

510

500

500

0

500

TY Imports

480

480

500

500

0

500

TY Imp. from U.S.

158

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

987

997

987

982

0

992

MY Exports

200

215

180

180

0

180

TY Exports

200

200

180

180

0

180

Consumption and Residual

680

680

690

685

0

690

Ending Stocks

107

102

117

117

0

122

Total Distribution

987

997

987

982

0

992

1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA