Rice production is expected to rise to 480 million tons in 2011, which is 3% higher than a year earlier, due to improved weather conditions, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Monday.
In a report, FAO gave what it called a very preliminary estimate on global rice paddy output, on a milled basis, saying the effects of the La Niña weather phenomenon looked set to dissipate in the next few months.
It said governments were also maintaining support to the sector to contain food inflation and secure long-term supplies.
The bulk of the increase is again expected to stem from good performances in Asia, with output also anticipated to increase in Europe, Oceania and Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO said.
By contrast little change is foreseen in Africa, while prospects are negative in North America.
FAO said output in Asia was forecast to record 3% growth to 434 million tonnes, boosted by sizeable increases in mainland China and India and a recovery in Pakistan.
Production in Latin America and the Caribbean was expected to rebound by 9.2% to 29.2 million tons, underpinned by a strong recovery in the southern part of the continent.
Prospects were also positive for Australia, which may reap its largest crop since 2006, the European Union and the Russian Federation.
However, FAO said that in the United States producers were expected to divert land away from rice into more profitable crops, possibly resulting in a 15% drop in the coming season's output.