With a projected 13 per cent jump next year to 3 . 4 million metric tons , Nigeria will emerge the world ’ s second – biggest rice importer after China , reveals a US Department of Agriculture report.“ China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019 , followed by the EU , Cote d ’ Ivoire, and Iran , ” the USDA said in its latest Rice Outlook released Tuesday .
“ Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase , ” reports Bloomberg .
There are reports that production had increased more than 50 per cent since 2012 to 3 . 7 million tons last year . Domestic demand rose 4 per cent to 6 . 7 million tons in the 2017 – 18 year that ended in May .
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , Audu Ogbeh , had earlier warned that Nigeria may face shortages in the supply of rice, due to the flood that ravaged the country recently.
Current global production exceeds consumption by 2 . 3 million tons , according to USDA, with 2018 – 19 “ global ending stocks ” projected to reach 163 million tons , 17 . 8 million tons more than previously forecast.
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