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USDA Rice Outlook


16 April 2013

USDA Rice Outlook - April 2013USDA Rice Outlook - April 2013

The March 2013 Prospective Plantings report indicated total US rice plantings in 2013/14 of 2.61 million acres, down 3 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 1987/88. Plantings are behind both a year earlier and normal timing in the Delta, but well ahead on the Gulf Coast.
USDA Rice Outlook

U.S. 2013/14 Rice Acreage Indicated at 2.61 Million Acres

There were no supply side revisions this month to the 2012/13 U.S. rice balance sheet. Total supplies for 2012/13 remain forecast at 262.1 million cwt, almost 4 percent larger than a year earlier. A larger crop and near-record imports are projected to more than offset a smaller carryin. Based on data reported in the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s March Rice Stocks, U.S. rice stocks on March 1, 2013 are estimated at 113.8 million cwt, up almost 1 percent from a year earlier.

The total domestic and residual use forecast was lowered 5.0 million cwt to 120.0 million, based on the March 1 rice stocks report that indicated smaller than expected domestic and residual use during the first 7 months of the market year. Total exports of U.S. all rice in 2012/13 remain projected at 108.0 million cwt, 6 percent above a year earlier. The smaller domestic and residual use forecast resulted in a 5.0-million cwt reduction in the ending stocks forecast to 34.1 million cwt.

The 2012/13 season-average farm price (SAFP) for U.S. long-grain rice remains forecast at $14.20-$14.80 per cwt, and the combined medium- and short-grain 2012/13 U.S. SAFP remains forecast at $15.60-$16.20 per cwt.

Global rice production for 2012/13 is forecast at a record 467.6 million tons (milled basis), down 0.5 million tons from last month’s forecast, but 1.8 million tons above a year earlier. Production forecasts were lowered this month for Pakistan, Thailand, and Colombia, but raised for the Philippines, Indonesia, and Ecuador.

Global rice use (including a residual component) for 2012/13 is projected at a record 469.3 million tons, down 0.9 million tons from last month’s forecast. Global ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 103.8 million tons, up 0.5 million tons from last month’s forecast. Ending stocks forecasts were raised this month for Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States.

The calendar year 2013 global rice trade forecast was lowered slightly to 37.3 million tons, 1.9 million tons below the year-earlier record. Export forecasts for 2013 were lowered for Pakistan and Argentina but raised for Venezuela, Uruguay, Burma, and Russia.

Prices for most grades of Thailand’s higher and medium-quality white milled rice were nearly unchanged over the past month, as weaker domestic prices were offset by a stronger Thai baht. Price quotes from Vietnam continue to decline, largely a response to a slowing pace of sales in 2013. U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have decreased slightly since mid-March and are back to levels reported in early March. Prices for California milled rice for the U.S. market have remained unchanged over the past month.

Domestic Outlook

U.S. 2013/14 Rice Acreage Indicated at 2.61 Million Acres

Text is 11pt Times New Roman The March 2013 Prospective Plantings report indicated total U.S. rice plantings in 2013/14 of 2.61 million acres, down 3 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 1987/88. The year-to-year decline is largely due to more favorable expected returns for alternative crops, especially soybeans and corn in the Delta, the largest rice-producing region in the country. Plantings were indicated lower this year in both California and the South, with the South accounting for the bulk of the indicated decline.

By class, long-grain plantings were indicated at 1.93 million acres, a 3-percent decrease from a year earlier. Almost all long-grain rice is grown in the South. Medium- and short-grain plantings were indicated at 678,000 acres, a decline of 4 percent from a year earlier. The South accounts for almost two-thirds of the indicated decline in U.S. medium- and short-grain plantings in 2013/14.

Rice acreage for 2013/14 is indicated lower in all reported States except the Gulf Coast States Louisiana and Texas. Growers in Arkansas indicated 2013/14 rice plantings of 1.23 million acres, a 5-percent decline from a year earlier and the smallest since 1989/90. Long-grain accounts for most of the indicated area decline in Arkansas. California growers indicated 2013/14 plantings at 550,000 acres, down 2 percent from a year earlier, with medium-grain accounting for almost all of the decline. In Mississippi, growers indicated 2013/14 plantings of just 120,000 acres, nearly 8 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 1977/78. Mississippi grows only long-grain rice. Growers in Missouri indicated rice plantings of 160,000 acres in 2013/14, down 11 percent from a year earlier, with long-grain accounting for all of the intended decrease.

In contrast, growers in Louisiana indicated they would expand rice plantings 4.5 percent to 420,000 acres in 2013/14, with long-grain accounting for all of the increase. Medium-grain plantings in Louisiana are indicated lower in 2013/14. In Texas, growers intend to plant 135,000 acres of rice in 2013/14, unchanged from last year. The State has endured severe drought for several years and has imposed water restrictions in many counties. Almost all rice grown in Texas is long grain.

Indicated U.S. plantings are based on a survey of growers that was conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in early March. Actual plantings may differ from reported intentions. The first survey of actual plantings of the 2013/14 crop will be conducted in early June and reported in the Acreage report to be released on June 28, 2013.

Planting of 2013/14 U.S. Rice Crop Well Behind Normal Pace in the Delta

For the week ending April 7, just 17 percent of the U.S. rice crop was reported planted, well behind 35 percent a year earlier and the U.S. 5-year average of 20 percent. Planting was slower than normal in the Delta, but well ahead on the Gulf Coast. In Arkansas, just 4 percent of the crop was reported planted by April 7, down from a record high of 45 percent last year and a 5-year average of 16 percent. Mississippi’s 2013/14 rice crop was just 1-percent planted by April 7, well behind 33 percent last year and the State’s 5-year average of 12 percent. In Missouri, 2 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop was reported planted by April 7, well behind last year’s record 42 percent and the State’s average of 10 percent. Across the Delta rice area, temperatures have been cooler than normal and rainfall more abundant this year, slowing the pace of planting.

In contrast, the pace of planting the 2013/14 crop was well ahead of normal in the Gulf Coast rice-growing States. For the week ending April 7, the Louisiana 2013/14 rice crop was reported 75 percent planted, well ahead of 49 percent last year and the State’s 5-year average of 53 percent. In Texas, 76 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop was reported planted by April 7, well ahead of 31 percent last year and the State’s 5-year average of 57 percent. Planting of the 2013/14 California rice crop has just started, a pace typical for the State.

By April 7, 9 percent of the U.S. 2013/14 rice crop had emerged, nearly unchanged from a year earlier, but ahead of the U.S. average of 5 percent. Like planting, emergence was well ahead of normal on the Gulf Coast, but it was behind in the Delta. In Arkansas, emergence of the 2013/14 rice crop had not begun by April 7, compared with a record 10 percent last year and the State’s 5-year average of 2 percent. Emergence had not begun in Missouri either, typical for the State in early April. In Mississippi, 1 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop had emerged by April 7, down from a record 10 percent last year and the State’s average of 3 percent.

In Texas, 40 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop had emerged by April 7, well ahead of 13 percent last year and the Texas average of 28 percent. For Louisiana, 46 percent of the crop had emerged by April 7, well ahead of 10 percent last year and the State’s 5-year average of 14 percent.

Total U.S. 2012/13 Rice Supplies Projected at 262.1 Million Cwt

There were no supply side revisions this month to the 2012/13 U.S. rice balance sheet. Imports remain projected at 21.5 million cwt (rough-equivalent basis), up 11 percent from a year earlier and the second highest imports on record. Imports from Vietnam (mostly brokens) and India (virtually all basmati) have been well ahead of a year earlier. Long-grain imports remain projected at 19.0 million cwt, 12 percent larger than a year earlier. These are the highest U.S. long-grain imports on record. Medium- and short-grain imports remain projected at 2.5 million cwt for 2012/13, up 3 percent from a year earlier.

The U.S. crop remains estimated at 199.5 million cwt, 8 percent larger than a year earlier, a result of both expanded area and a record yield. The 2012/13 long-grain crop remains estimated at 144.2 million cwt, an increase of 23 percent from a year earlier, a result of both expanded area and a record yield. In contrast, the 2012/13 U.S. medium- and short-grain crop declined 19 percent from a year earlier to 55.3 million cwt, a result of a 21-percent decline in plantings.

The 2012/13 all rice carryin remains estimated at 41.1 million cwt, 15 percent below a year earlier. The long-grain 2012/13 carryin remains estimated at 24.3 million cwt, 32 percent below a year earlier. The medium- and short-grain carryin remains estimated at 14.7 million cwt, up 45 percent from a year earlier. Stocks of brokens, included in the all-rice stocks estimate, are not specified by class.

Total supplies for 2012/13 are forecast at 262.1 million cwt, almost 4 percent larger than a year earlier. A larger crop and near-record imports are projected to more than offset a smaller carryin. By class, long-grain supplies remain projected at 187.4 million cwt, 11 percent larger than a year earlier. Medium- and short-grain supplies remain forecast at 72.5 million cwt, 11 percent below a year earlier.

In addition, the 2012/13 milling rate was lowered 0.25 percent to 70.00 percent based on reported milling data through January. The lower milling rate lowered the production reported on a milled basis.

Based on data reported in the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s March Rice Stocks, U.S. rice stocks on March 1, 2013, are estimated at 113.8 million cwt, up almost 1 percent from a year earlier. Long-grain stocks on March 1 are estimated at 72.0 million cwt, up 1.2 percent from a year earlier. In contrast, combined medium- and short-grain stocks are estimated at 36.15 million cwt, down more than 8 percent from a year earlier. The South accounted for most of the decline in medium- and short-grain stocks. U.S. stocks of brokens on March 1 are estimated at 5.7 million cwt, up 140 percent from a year earlier.

Arkansas, the largest rice-growing State, accounts for most of the year-to-year increase in March 1 stocks. At 61.1 million cwt, rice stocks in Arkansas on March 1 were up almost 9 percent from a year earlier. Stocks in Missouri are estimated at 4.8 million cwt on March 1, up 16 percent from a year earlier. In California, March 1 rice stocks are estimated at 29.8 million cwt, up 2 percent from March 1, 2012. March 1 rice stocks are estimated lower than a year earlier in the remaining reported States. Mississippi’s March 1 stocks of 2.5 million cwt are 42 percent smaller than a year earlier. Rice stocks in Louisiana on March 1 are estimated at 8.85 million cwt, a decline of 20 percent from last year. Finally, rice stocks in Texas on March 1 are estimated at 6.4 million cwt, down almost 6 percent from a year earlier.

U.S. 2012/13 Domestic and Residual Use Forecast Lowered to 120.0 Million Cwt

Total use of U.S. rice in 2012/13 is projected at 228.0 million cwt, down 5.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast but still 8 percent above a year earlier. The downward revision is due to a smaller domestic and residual use forecast. By class, long-grain total use is projected at 167.0 million cwt, down 4.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast, but still 15 percent above a year earlier. Medium- and short- grain total use is projected at 61.0 million cwt, down 1.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 9 percent below a year earlier. The expected year-to-year decline is mostly due to tighter supplies and higher prices.

Total domestic and residual use of all rice in 2012/13 is projected at 120.0 million cwt, down 5.0 million from last month’s forecast but still 9 percent higher than a year earlier. The downward revision was based on the March 1 rice stocks report that indicated smaller than expected domestic and residual use during the first 7 months of the market year. The 2011/12 domestic and residual use estimate was the lowest since 1997/98. Despite expectations of a 9-percent increase, the 2012/13 domestic and residual use estimate is still 5 million cwt below the 2007/08-2011/12 average.

For long-grain, 2012/13 domestic and residual use is projected at 90.0 million cwt, down 4 million cwt from last month’s forecast but almost 16 percent larger than a year earlier. Medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use is projected at 30.0 million, a decline of 1.0 million cwt from last month and 7 percent below a year earlier.

Total exports of U.S. all rice in 2012/13 remain projected at 108.0 million cwt, 6 percent above a year earlier. Based on data from U.S. Export Sales, total outstanding commercial sales and exports of all rice (based on actual shipment weight) through March 28 were more than 14 percent ahead of a year earlier. By type, U.S. rough-rice exports are projected at 35.0 million cwt, 7 percent larger than a year earlier. Latin America is the largest market for U.S. rough-rice exports, taking almost exclusively long-grain. Turkey and Libya are the largest markets for U.S. medium- and short-grain rough-rice.

U.S. milled rice exports (combined milled- and brown-rice exports converted to a rough-rice basis) remain projected at 73.0 million cwt, 6 percent above a year earlier. Northeast Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Canada are the largest destinations for U.S. milled-rice exports. Haiti is the largest market for U.S. milled rice in the Western Hemisphere, taking almost exclusively long-grain rice.

By class, long-grain exports remain projected at 77.0 million cwt, 15 percent above a year earlier. South America has been a much stronger buyer of U.S. rice in 2012/13 than in the previous year, with Colombia and Venezuela top buyers. In addition, Iran has purchased more than 91,000 tons of U.S. long-grain milled rice. These are the first significant purchases of U.S. rice by Iran since 2008/09. Medium- and short-grain exports remain projected at 31.0 million cwt, 11 percent below the year-earlier near-record. Some of the projected decline is based on stronger competition with Australia and Egypt.

U.S. ending stocks of all rice in 2012/13 are projected at 34.1 million cwt, up 5.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast but 17 percent below a year earlier. The stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 14.9 percent, up from last month’s forecast of 12.5 percent, but still below 19.4 percent in 2011/12. By class, the 2012/13 U.S. long-grain carryout is projected at 20.4 million cwt, down 4.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 16 percent below a year earlier. The long-grain stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 12.2 percent, down from 16.8 percent a year earlier. The medium- and short-grain carryout remains projected at 11.5 million cwt, up 1.0 million cwt from last month but still 14 percent below a year earlier. The medium/short-grain stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 18.9 percent, down from 21.9 percent in 2011/12.

U.S. Long-Grain Season-Average Price Projected To Be Higher in 2012/13

The 2012/13 season-average farm price (SAFP) for U.S. long-grain rice remains forecast at $14.20-$14.80 per cwt, with the mid-point well above the 2011/12 SAFP of $13.40 per cwt. The higher U.S. long-grain price in 2012/13 is primarily due to stronger global demand for U.S. rice and expectations of a tight U.S. ending-stocks situation. However, the U.S. price increase is limited by weaker global trading prices.

The combined medium- and short-grain 2012/13 U.S. SAFP remains forecast at $15.60-$16.20 per cwt, with the mid-point well below the 2011/12 SAFP of $17.10. Greater competition from Egypt and Australia in the global market accounts for much of the projected price decline for U.S. medium- and short-grain rice in 2012/13.

In late March, NASS reported a mid-March U.S. long-grain rough-rice price of $14.70 per cwt, up 10 cents from the revised February estimate and the highest since January 2009. The February price was lowered 50 cents from the mid-month estimate to $14.60. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, the mid-March NASS price was reported at $16.80 per cwt, up $1.00 from the February revised price. The February price was lowered 20 cents from the mid-month estimate to $15.80 per cwt.

International Outlook

Production Forecasts for 2012/13 Lowered for Pakistan, Thailand, and Colombia

Global rice production for 2012/13 is forecast at a record 467.6 million tons (milled basis), down 0.5 million tons from last month’s forecast but 1.8 million tons above a year earlier. Global rice area in 2012/13 is projected at 158.4 million hectares, down fractionally from last month’s forecast and 0.5 million hectares below the year-earlier record. India accounts for most of the year-to-year area decline. The average global yield is forecast at a record 4.40 tons per hectare (on a rough-rice basis), up from 4.37 tons in 2011/12.

There were six downward revisions to 2012/13 production forecasts this month, with most in Asia or South America. First, Pakistan’s 2012/13 production estimate was lowered 0.8 million tons to 6.0 million tons based on damage caused by localized floods in September that was more severe than initially reported. This is the third year in a row that Pakistan’s rice crop has been adversely affected by flooding. Pakistan’s production is down 3 percent from 2011/12, a result of weaker plantings and a lower yield. Second, Thailand’s 2012/13 production estimate was lowered 0.3 million tons to 20.2 million based on information from the USDA office in Bangkok indicating reduced off-season acreage caused by drought. Thailand’s 2012/13 production is forecast to be 1 percent below the year earlier record. Third, Vietnam’s 2012/13 production forecast was lowered 60,000 tons to 27.65 million tons based on information from the USDA office in Hanoi reporting smaller area in the spring crop due to unexpected dry weather. Vietnam’s 2012/13 production is still the highest on record. All three countries are major rice exporters.

Outside Asia, Colombia’s 2012/13 production forecast was lowered 0.4 million tons to 1.72 million tons based on lower area and a weaker yield caused by flooding and rains near harvest-time and disease problems that were caused by excessive rain. Colombia’s production is down more than 6 percent from a year earlier and this is the fourth consecutive year of a significant decline in production, a major factor behind the country’s rising imports. Argentina’s 2012/13 production forecast was reduced 33,000 tons to 975,000 tons based on a lower yield caused by recent excessive rains at the start of harvest. Production is down 3 percent from a year earlier. Finally, the European Union’s 2012/13 crop estimate was decreased 9,000 tons to 2.03 million tons based on smaller production in Bulgaria and France that more than offset a larger crop in Spain. Production in the EU is down slightly from a year earlier.

These downward revisions were partially offset by 3 upward revisions. First, the Philippines’ 2012/13 production forecast was raised 360,000 tons to a record 11.35 million tons based on larger area and a higher yield reported by the Government of the Philippines Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. Second, Indonesia’s 2012/13 production forecast was raised 0.6 million tons to 37.5 million tons based on higher yields that resulted from good weather for the main crop, low pest and disease problems, and larger area planted to high yielding varieties. Indonesia’s production is up almost 3 percent from a year earlier, but still below-record. Both Southeast Asian countries are major rice importers. Outside Asia, Ecuador’s 2012/13 production was raised 125,000 tons to 775,000 tons based on slightly higher area and a much stronger yield caused by better than expected weather. Production in Ecuador is up 24 percent from a year earlier due to a more typical yield.

The 2011/12 global crop estimate was lowered 0.4 million tons this month to 465.8 million tons, still up almost 4 percent from a year earlier. There were three downward revisions. First, Pakistan’s 2011/12 crop was lowered 300,000 tons to 6.2 million tons based on information from the USDA office in Islamabad indicating a lower yield. Second, Colombia’s 2011/12 crop estimate was lowered 180,000 tons to 1.25 million tons based on information from the USDA office in Bogota indicating lower area and a weaker yield caused by flooding and rains near harvest time that led to disease problems. Finally, Argentina’s 2011/12 crop estimate was lowered 12,000 tons to 1.008 million based on data from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Global rice use (including a residual component) for 2012/13 is projected at a record 469.3 million tons, down 0.9 million tons from last month’s forecast but 2 percent larger than a year earlier. Consumption forecasts were lowered this month for Brazil, Burma, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States. On a year-to-year basis, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam account for most of the expected increase in global domestic and residual use.

Global ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 103.8 million tons, up 0.5 million tons from last month’s forecast but 1.7 million tons below a year earlier. Ending stocks forecasts were raised this month for Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States, but lowered for Colombia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Global ending stocks in 2012/13 are the second highest in a decade. On a year-to-year basis, stocks are projected to be smaller in India, Indonesia, the United States, and Vietnam but higher in China, Pakistan, and Thailand. The global stocks-to-use ratio for 2012/13 is calculated at 22.1 percent, down from 23.0 percent a year earlier.

Export Forecasts for 2013 Lowered for Argentina and Pakistan

Total calendar year 2013 global rice trade is forecast at 37.4 million tons, nearly unchanged from last month’s forecast and 1.8 million tons below the year-earlier record. Export forecasts for 2013 were lowered for two countries this month. First, Pakistan’s 2013 exports were lowered 0.5 million tons to 3.3 million tons based on a much smaller crop and power shortages that have reduced millings. Second, Argentina’s 2013 export forecast was lowered 25,000 tons to 600,000 tons based on a smaller crop and a recent slowing of sales.

These two reductions were partially offset by four upward revisions in 2013 export forecasts this month. First, Venezuela’s 2013 export forecast was raised 150,000 tons to a record 200,000 based on much larger sales to Colombia. Second, Uruguay’s 2013 export forecast was raised 50,000 tons to 900,000 tons based on strong sales to Peru and Iraq. Outside South America, Burma’s 2013 export forecast was raised 50,000 tons to 750,000 tons based on larger shipments to Thailand and China. Finally, Russia’s 2013 export forecast was raised 50,000 tons to 210,000 tons based on stronger sales to the Middle East and Central Asia. Despite the upward revision, Russia’s 2013 exports are 25 percent below the year- earlier record.

There were several 2013 import revisions this month. Starting with the reductions, Vietnam’s 2013 imports were lowered 100,000 tons to 100,000 tons based on recommendations from the USDA office in Hanoi. Second, Iran’s 2013 imports were reduced 100,000 tons to 1.7 million tons based on weaker shipments from Pakistan. Iran is purchasing more rice from the Western Hemisphere. Third, South Africa’s 2013 imports were lowered 50,000 tons to 950,000 tons based on recommendation from the USDA office in Pretoria. And fourth, Russia’s 2013 imports were lowered 20,000 tons to 200,000 tons based on a decision to halt purchases from India despite lower import duties.

These downward revisions were partially offset by six upward revisions in 2013 imports, all occurring in South America and Asia. In South America, Colombia’s 2013 import forecast was raised 220,000 tons to a record 400,000 tons based on smaller production and large shipments from Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and the United States. Second, Venezuela’s 2013 import forecast was raised 70,000 tons to a near-record 370,000 tons based on recommendation from the USDA office in Caracas. And third, Brazil’s 2013 import forecast was raised 50,000 tons to 750,000 tons based on recommendation from the USDA office in Brasilia which expects imports to return to normal levels.

In Asia, Thailand’s 2013 imports were raised 200,000 tons to 600,000 tons to match the 2012 record. China’s 2013 imports were increased 200,000 tons to 2.4 million tons based on higher 2012 imports and strong shipments from Pakistan early in the year. China’s imports in 213 are second only to the 2012 record of 2.7 million tons. Finally, Bangladesh’s 2013 import forecast was revised up 50,000 tons to 300,000 tons to meet demand and keep stock levels adequate.

On a year-to-year basis, a big drop in exports from India and smaller shipments from Vietnam and Pakistan in 2013 are expected to more than offset larger exports from Australia, Burma, Cambodia, Egypt, and the United States. On the 2013 global import side, big declines in imports by Egypt, Indonesia, and West Africa are projected to more than offset larger purchases by Bangladesh, the European Union, and South Korea. The substantial projected increase in South Korea’s 2013 imports is based solely on the timing of its annual WTO commitments.

The 2012 global trade estimate was raised 0.16 million tons to a record 39.2 million tons, 8 percent larger than a year earlier. The record trade was mainly driven by large exports from India and Vietnam, matched by record purchases from West Africa and China. There were two export revisions for 2012, both in South America. First, Venezuela’s exports were raised 100,000 tons to a near-record 150,000 tons based on stronger than expected sales to Colombia. And second, Ecuador’s 2012 exports were raised 33,000 tons to 63,000 tons based on final trade data.

There were several 2012 import revisions this month, mostly based on final trade data. On the upside, Colombia’s 2012 imports were raised 155,000 tons to a near- record 330,000 based on higher unofficial imports from neighboring countries. Stocks are quite low and imports are lower priced than domestic production, which is down sharply. The European Union’s 2012 import estimate was raised 106,000 tons to 1.31 million tons based on stronger than expected purchases from India, Thailand, and Cambodia.

China’s 2012 imports were increased 100,000 tons to a record 2.7 million tons based on additional trade data from Pakistan. China’s 2012 imports were up 2.1 million tons from a year earlier, with Vietnam the top supplier. Imported rice was priced substantially lower than domestically produced rice in China. Import forecasts for 2012 were also raised this month for Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Venezuela.

These upward revisions were partially offset by three reductions. First, South Africa’s 2012 import estimate was lowered 80,000 tons to 870,000 tons based on recommendations from the USDA office in Pretoria. Second, Egypt’s 2012 import estimate was decreased 58,000 tons to 292,000 tons based on final trade data. Last, Iran’s 2012 import estimate was reduced 50,000 tons to 1.7 million tons based on final shipment data from Pakistan.

Thailand’s Trading Prices Nearly Unchanged; Vietnam’s Prices Continue to Drop

Prices for most grades of Thailand’s higher and medium-quality white milled rice were nearly unchanged over the past month, as weaker domestic prices were offset by a stronger Thai baht. Prices for lower quality grades and some specialty rices declined slightly, while prices for aromatic rice increased.

Prices for Thailand's high-quality, 100-percent Grade B (fob vessel, Bangkok) milled rice for export were quoted at $573 per ton for the week ending April 9, down $1 from the week ending March 4. Prices for Thailand’s 5-percent brokens were quoted at $559 per ton for the week ending April 9, also down $1 from the week ending March 4. Prices for Thailand's 5-percent parboiled rice—a specialty rice—were quoted at $554 per ton for the week ending April 9, down $14 from the week ending March 4.

Price quotes for Thailand’s premium jasmine rice—an aromatic variety—were quoted at $1,141 per ton for the week ending April 9, up $22 from the week ending March 4.

Prices for Thailand’s brokens have declined slightly. For the week ending April 9, prices for Thailand’s A-1 Super 100-percent brokens were quoted at $530 per ton, down $5 from the week ending March 4. All price quotes for Thailand’s rice are from the Weekly Rice Price Update, reported by the USDA office in Bangkok.

Price quotes from Vietnam continue to decline, largely a response to a slowing pace of sales in 2013. For the week ending April 9, prices for Vietnam’s 5-percent double-water-polished with 5-percent brokens were quoted at $385 per ton, down $20 from March 5. Thailand’s price quotes for 5-percent brokens are currently $174 per ton above quotes for Vietnam’s 5-percent double-water-polished milled rice, up $14 from a month earlier.

U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have decreased slightly since mid-March and are back to levels reported in early March. To date, the pace of sales has been strong, especially to Haiti, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana. For the week ending April 9, prices for high-quality Southern long-grain rice (No. 2, 4-percent brokens, bagged, free alongside vessel, U.S. Gulf port) were quoted at $628 per ton, down $11 from a week earlier but unchanged from March 5. U.S. long-grain rough-rice (bulk, fob vessel, New Orleans) were quoted at $375 per ton for the week ending April 9, up $5 from the week ending March 5.

Prices for California milled rice for the U.S. market have remained unchanged over the past month. California’s package-quality medium-grain rice (sacked) for domestic sales remain quoted at $750 per ton for the week ending April 9, unchanged since late December. Export prices (for 30 kg bags, fob vessel) for California milled rice remain quoted at $700 per ton for the week ending April 9, unchanged since late January. Price quotes for Vietnam, U.S. long- and medium- grain milled-rice prices, and U.S. rough-rice export prices are from the weekly Creed Rice Market Report.

April 2013

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