MUMBAI (Commodity Online): Global rice ending stocks for 2009-10 are expected to be 90.4 million tons against the early estimation due to the lower export by the major growers, said International Grain Council.

However, the global rice production is projected to decline in 2009-10 owing to poor output in countries such as India, where worst drought impacted the production, IGC noted.

IGC pointed out that the fall in production would not affect the global supply as the high stock position offset the demand.

Supplies are currently ample, but high stocks are crucial to keeping a check on prices because global trade in rice is limited, with only a handful of countries exporting the staple commodity, it said.

India, the second largest rice producer in the world after China, has banned the export of non basmati rice in order to ensure better supply in the domestic market. Meanwhile, China, which holds nearly 40% of total rice stocks of the world, reduced the export on the same reason.

According to IGC's revised estimation, the global rice production for 2009-10 may decline by 800,000 metric tons to 441.4 million tons.

Thailand's rice exports have progressed at a slow pace in recent months and shipments in 2010 are expected to total 9.0 million tons, down from an earlier estimate of 9.4 million tons.

Exports by the five leading exporters--Thailand, Vietnam, the U.S., India and Pakistan--are forecast to rise by 3% this year to 23.5 million tons. Vietnam's exports are expected to decline to 5.3 million tons from 6.0 million tons in 2009.

The Philippines made large purchases from the world market late last year for delivery in 2010. Its imports this year are likely around 2.6 million tons, up 40% from 2009.

Imports by Bangladesh are projected to increase to 600,000 tons from 100,000 tons. Purchases by Bangladesh and the Philippines have outweighed reduced imports by sub-Saharan Africa.