Rice Market: Recent Statistics & Top Producers

07 Aug 2018 • by Natalie Aster
Rice Market: Recent Statistics & Top Producers

LONDON – Rice is the 3rd most popular crop across the globe. It is the staple food for more than half of the global population. Rice is grown across over a hundred countries, with a total harvested area exceeding 158 million hectares. Rice cultivation was first introduced in China thousands of years ago. Further, rice farming culture spread throughout the Asian region and later all over the globe. Presently, Asia is the unrivalled global leader in terms of both production and consumption of rice.

The world’s total consumption volume of rice demonstrated a steady growth over 2009/10 – 2017/18, except for a marginal decline in 2015/16. In the crop year 2017/18, the overall consumption of rice across the globe exceeded 480.4 million metric tons (MMT). Due to the strong demand for this food commodity all over the world (especially in the Asian and African regions), the world’s rice consumption shows no signs of slowing down and is anticipated to continue growing in the years ahead.

World’s consumption of rice over 2009/10 – 2017/18 (in MMT)

World’s consumption of rice over 2009/10 – 2017/18 (in MMT)

China is at the forefront of the global rice consumption. This country consumed about 142.7 MMT of rice in 2017/18, which is equal to almost 34% of the world’s total volume. The second biggest consumer, India, accounted for around 20.2% (around 97.35 MMT) of the global rice consumption in the 2017/18 crop year. The third position is held by Indonesia, with the domestic rice consumption volume of 37.4 MMT – nearly 7.8% of the world’s total. Other heavy rice consumers comprise Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Japan, and Brazil.

The volume of the world’s production of rice more than tripled from 1961 to 2010, demonstrating an average annual increase of around 2.24%. This was majorly due to a remarkable upturn of yields, which exhibited growth at an average annual rate of 1.74%. Meantime, the harvested area expanded at the rate of only 0,49%. Since 2010, the world’s rice supply witnessed a steady modest increase and climbed to 712.63 MMT in the 2014/15 crop year. In 2015/16, the global rice supply volume declined by around 1.99 MMT, however, it improved in the next crop year and laid a course for a healthy growth, and went beyond 718 MMT in 2017/18.

World’s supply of rice during 2010/11 – 2017/18 (in MMT)

World’s supply of rice during 2010/11 – 2017/18 (in MMT)

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for a share of around 90% of the world’s total output of rice, other producing regions include Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. 9 of 10 leading rice-producing countries are located in Asia-Pacific.

China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam are the 5 dominant rice producers in the world. Their combined rice production volume surpassed 546,7 MMT, which is equal to about 76% of the world’s total output.

Top 10 paddy rice producers, 2017 (in MMT)

Top 10 paddy rice producers, 2017 (in MMT)



Vietnam is ranked as the fifth largest producer of rice from pole to pole with the domestic output volume of appr. 44 MMT in this crop year. The rice-cultivated area in this country is estimated at about 7.71 million hectares. The Mekong Delta contributes the greatest part of the Vietnamese rice output volume. Meantime, Vietnam is the third leading rice exporter, the country’s exports of rice totaled 6.7 MMT in 2017/18.


Bangladesh is in the fourth position on the list of the world’s top rice producers with the domestic output volume exceeding 53 MMT in this crop year. Rice plantations in the country occupy nearly 11.75 million hectares.


Indonesia takes the third place in the world in terms of rice output, with the rice-cultivated area of around 12.24 million hectares and the domestic production volume reaching 74.2 MMT in 2017/18.


India, the second dominant producer of rice worldwide, produced around 165.3 MMT in 2017/18. India boasts the largest area under rice cultivation in the world – appr. 43.19 million hectares. It also ranks as the leading rice exporter globally, with export volume exceeding 12.5 MMT in the crop year 2017/18.


China is the dominant producer of rice across the globe. In 2017/18, the country produced nearly 210.1 MMT of rice – this is equivalent to about 29.2% of the world’s total output volume. The area under rice plantations in the country is estimated at over 30.15 million hectares. The biggest chunk of the Chinese rice production goes for the domestic needs. In 2017/18, China exported only 1.6 million tons of rice.

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