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USDA Rice Outlook


16 May 2013

USDA Rice Outlook - May 2013USDA Rice Outlook - May 2013

The 2013/14 US rice crop is projected at 189.5 million cwt, 5 percent below a year earlier, the result of smaller plantings and a lower yield.
USDA Rice Outlook

The U.S. 2013/14 Rice Crop Is Projected at 189.5 Million Cwt

Imports are projected at 22.5 million cwt, an increase of 5 percent from a year earlier. Beginning stocks remain forecast at 34.1 million cwt. Total supplies for 2013/14 are projected at 246.1 million cwt, a decline of 6 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2003/04.

Both total domestic and residual use and exports are projected smaller in 2013/14. At 115.0 million cwt, total domestic and residual use is down 5.0 million a year earlier. Total exports in 2013/14 are projected at 98.0 million cwt, down 9 percent from 2012/13. The decline is based on tighter U.S. supplies and expectations of stronger competition in the global market from Asian and South American exporters. U.S. ending stocks in 2013/14 are projected at 33.1 million cwt, down 1.0 million cwt from a year earlier.

The 2013/14 season-average farm price (SAFP) for U.S. long-grain rice is forecast at $13.80-$14.80 per cwt, compared with $14.20-$14.60 a year earlier. The combined medium- and short-grain 2013/14 U.S. SAFP is forecast at $15.50-$16.50 per cwt, with the midpoint unchanged from this year’s SAFP of $15.80-$16.20.

Global rice production for 2013/14 is forecast at a record 479.3 million tons (milled basis), up 2 percent from a year earlier, a result of expanded area. Record crops are projected for China, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Global rice use (including a residual component) for 2013/14 is projected at a record 476.8 million tons, with Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Vietnam accounting for most of the projected increase. Global ending stocks for 2013/14 are projected at 107.8 million tons, up 2 percent from 2013/14 and the highest since 2001/02.

Total calendar year 2014 global rice trade is forecast at 38.6 million tons, nearly unchanged from this year, but 0.5 million tons below the 2012 record. Stronger exports from Thailand and Vietnam are expected to be nearly offset by weaker shipments from India and the United States. China, the EU, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia are projected to be the largest importers.

Prices for most grades of Thailand’s higher and medium-quality white milled rice declined 1-2 percent over the past month, as the Government is speeding up its rice stocks sales. In contrast, prices for aromatic rice increased. Price quotes from Vietnam continue to decline, largely a response to a slowing pace of sales in 2013 and large supplies in Asia. U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have increased since early April, a result of tighter supplies and continued strong export demand. Prices for California milled rice for the U.S. market have remained unchanged over the past month.

Domestic Outlook

U.S. 2013/14 Rice Crop Projected at 189.5 Million Acres

The 2013/14 U.S. rice crop is projected at 189.5 million cwt, 5 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 1998/99. The decrease in production is the result of both smaller plantings and expectations of a lower yield. At 2.61 million acres, U.S. rice plantings are 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 winter wheat and corn in the Delta, the largest riceproducing region in the country. The planted area estimates are from the March Prospective Plantings report. The first survey of actual plantings will be released in the June Acreage report. Harvested area is based on the 2008-2012 average abandonment, typically less than 1 percent for rice.

Rice acreage for 2013/14 is indicated lower in all reported States except Louisiana and Texas, with the Delta reporting the largest decline. In March, 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. In Mississippi, growers indicated plantings of just 120,000 acres, nearly 8 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 1977/78. Growers in Missouri indicated rice plantings of 160,000 acres, down 11 percent from a year earlier. California growers indicated 2013/14 plantings at 550,000 acres, down 2 percent from a year earlier. In contrast, growers in Louisiana indicated they would expand rice plantings 4.5 percent to 420,000 acres 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 again imposed water restrictions in many counties.

The average yield, projected at 7,317 pounds per acre, is almost 2 percent below last year, but still the second highest on record. The all-rice yield projection is based on 1982-2012 trends by class. With total production the sum of long-grain and medium- and short-grain production, the all-rice average yield is calculated by dividing total production by harvested area. The first objective yield forecasts for the 2013/14 crop will be released in the August Crop Production report.

By class, long-grain production is projected at 135.5 million cwt, down 6 percent from a year earlier. The medium- and short-grain crop is projected at 54.0 million cwt, a reduction of 2.4 percent from last year. The first State-level production data will be release in the August Crop Production report.

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

For the week ending May 5, 55 percent of the U.S. rice crop was reported planted, well behind the record 77 percent a year earlier and the U.S. 5-year average of 66 percent. Planting was slower than normal across most of the Delta, but about normal on the Gulf Coast and well ahead of average in California. The Delta has experienced an abnormally cool and wet spring that has delayed planting and crop progress. In Arkansas, just 48 percent of the crop was reported planted by May 5, down from a 5-year average of 72 percent. Mississippi’s 2013/14 rice crop was just 14-percent planted by May 5, well behind the State’s 5-year average of 80 percent.

In contrast to the other Delta States, 65 percent of Missouri’s 2013/14 rice crop was reported planted by May 5, slightly ahead of the State’s average of 60 percent.

On the Gulf Coast, the pace of planting the 2013/14 crop was about normal by early May. For the week ending May 5, the Louisiana 2013/14 rice crop was reported 92- percent planted, even with the State’s 5-year average. In Texas, 97 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop was reported planted by May 5, slightly ahead of the State’s 5- year average of 94 percent. In California, 40 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop was reported planted by May 5, well ahead of the State’s 5-year average of 26 percent.

By May 5, 36 percent of the U.S. 2013/14 rice crop had emerged, behind the U.S. average of 47 percent. Like planting, emergence was well behind across most of the Delta, about normal on the Gulf Coast, and ahead of normal in California. In Arkansas, 25 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop had emerged by May 5, barely half the State’s 5-year average of 51 percent. In Mississippi, 11 percent of the 2013/14 rice crop had emerged by May 5, sharply behind the State’s 5-year average of 62 percent. In contrast, 41 percent of Missouri’s rice crop had emerged by May 5, slightly ahead of the State’s 5-year average of 36 percent.

On the Gulf Coast, 83 percent of Louisiana’s crop had emerged by May 5, even with the State’s 5-year average. In Texas, 87 percent of the crop had emerged by May 5, slightly ahead of the State’s 5-year average of 81 percent. The California crop was reported 20-percent emerged by May 5, well ahead of the State’s average of 3 percent. Conditions in California have generally been favorable for rice production this year.

Total U.S. 2013/14 Rice Supplies Projected at 246.1 Million Cwt

Total supplies for 2013/14 are projected at 246.1 million cwt, a decline of 6 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2003/04. The smaller supplies are the result of a weaker crop and smaller carryin more than offsetting higher imports. By class, long-grain total supplies are projected at 175.9 million cwt, down 6 percent from a year earlier and the second smallest since 2001/02. Combined medium- and short-grain total supplies are projected at 68.0 million cwt, also down 6 percent from 2012/13.

At 34.1 million cwt, beginning stocks of all-rice are 17 percent below a year earlier. Long-grain beginning stocks are projected at 20.4 million cwt, a decline of 16 percent from a year earlier. Medium- and short-grain beginning stocks are projected at 11.5 million cwt, down 22 percent from a year earlier.

All-rice imports are forecast at 22.5 million cwt, an increase of 5 percent from a year earlier and second only to the 2007/08 record of 23.9 million cwt. The increase is based on tighter supplies of U.S.-grown rice and continued growth in U.S. purchases of aromatic rice from Asia. Long-grain imports are projected at a record 20.0 million cwt, an increase of 5 percent from 2012/13. Thailand, India, and Pakistan typically supply the bulk of U.S. long-grain imports. In some years, Vietnam ships rice to the United States, mostly in the form of broken kernels for processed uses. Combined medium- and short-grain imports are projected at 2.5 million cwt, unchanged from a year earlier. Specialty rice from Thailand accounts for most of the U.S. medium- and short-grain rice imported by the United States. Italy supplies most of the remainder.

U.S. 2013/14 Total Use of U.S. Rice Projected To Decline Almost 7 Percent

Total use of U.S. rice in 2013/14 is projected at 213.0 million cwt, down 15.0 million cwt from a year earlier and the second lowest since 1999/2000. Both exports and total domestic and residual use are projected to be smaller in 2013/14. Long-grain total use is projected at 154.0 million cwt, a decline of 8 percent from a year earlier. Combined medium- and short-grain use is projected at 59.0 million cwt, a decline of 3 percent from 2012/13.

Total domestic and residual use of all rice in 2013/14 is projected at 115.0 million cwt, down 5.0 million a year earlier and the second smallest since 1998/99. The decline is largely based on a smaller crop. Long-grain domestic and residual use is projected at 85.0 million cwt, down almost 6 percent from a year earlier. Combined medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use is projected at 30.0 million cwt, unchanged from 2012/13.

Total exports in 2013/14 are projected at 98.0 million cwt, down 9 percent from 2012/13. The decline is based on tighter U.S. supplies and expectations of stronger competition in the global market from Asian and South American exporters. Longgrain exports are projected at 69.0 million cwt, down more than 10 percent from a year earlier. The U.S. is likely to lose market share in the Middle East and Sub- Saharan Africa in 2013/14. Combined medium- and short-grain exports are projected at 29.0 million cwt, a decline of 6.5 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. The United States is expected to face greater competition from Australia and Egypt in 2013/14, especially in the Middle East.

By type, rough-rice exports are projected at 36.0 million cwt, unchanged from the year-earlier revised forecast. Combined milled- and brown-rice exports (on a rough-basis) are projected at 62.0 million cwt, a drop of 14 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2006/07.

U.S. ending stocks of all rice in 2013/14 are projected at 33.1 million cwt, down 1.0 million cwt from a year earlier. The stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 15.5 percent, up from 14.9 percent in 2012/13. By class, the 2013/14 U.S. long-grain carryout is projected at 21.9 million cwt, up 1.5 million cwt from a year earlier. The long-grain stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 14.2 percent, up from 12.2 percent a year earlier. The medium- and short-grain carryout is projected at 9.0 million cwt, down 2.5 million cwt from a year earlier. The medium/short-grain stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 15.3 percent, down from 18.9 percent in 2012/13.

Little Change Projected in U.S. Rough-Rice Prices in 2013/14

The 2013/14 season-average farm price (SAFP) for U.S. long-grain rice is forecast at $13.80-$14.80 per cwt, compared with $14.20-$14.60 a year earlier. In 2013/14, the impact of tighter U.S. supplies is expected to be nearly offset by much larger exportable supplies from Asia and South America.

The combined medium- and short-grain 2013/14 U.S. SAFP is forecast at $15.50- $16.50 per cwt, with the midpoint unchanged from this year’s SAFP of $15.80- $16.20. Greater competition from Egypt and Australia in the global market is expected to limit any price increase due to smaller U.S. supplies.

In late April, NASS reported a mid-April U.S. long-grain rough-rice price of $15.10 per cwt, up 40 cents from the March estimate and the highest since January 2009. The March price remains estimated at $14.70 per cwt. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, the mid-April NASS price was reported at $16.20 per cwt, unchanged from the March revised price. The March price was lowered 60 cents from the midmonth estimate to $16.20 per cwt.

International Outlook

Global Rice Production in 2013/14Forecasts To Be a Record 479.3 Million Tons

Global rice production for 2013/14 is forecast at a record 479.3 million tons (milled basis), up 2 percent from a year earlier, a result of expanded area. Global rice area in 2013/14 is projected at a record 161.4 million hectares, up 2 percent from a year earlier. India accounts for the largest share of the year-to-year area increase. The average global yield is forecast at a record 4.43 tons per hectare (on a rough-rice basis), unchanged from 2012/13.

Production is projected to be record high in South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, mostly due to larger area. South Asia is projected to show the largest increase in production, expanding 3 percent to 154.6 million tons. India, the world’s second largest rice-producing country, is projected to harvest a record 108.0 million ton crop in 2013/14, an increase of 4 percent from a year earlier. Expanded area— largely driven by higher support prices—accounts for most of the larger crop. Assuming normal weather and a normal monsoon, a record yield is projected as well. Pakistan’s 2013/14 production is projected to increase 3 percent to 6.2 million tons based on a slightly higher yield. Pakistan’s area and production remain below the 2009/10 record. Both India and Pakistan are major rice exporters, with India currently the world’s largest exporter.

Among South Asia’s importers, Bangladesh is projected to expand production 200,000 tons to a record 34.2 million tons, mostly due to a small area expansion. Sri Lanka, a small importer, is projected to expand production 3 percent in 2013/14 to 2.76 million tons due to increased area. The yield is projected to be lower. Afghanistan’s 2013/14 crop is projected at a record 460,000 tons, mostly due to a much higher yield.

East Asia is projected to produce 158.8 million tons of rice in 2013/14, up less than 1 percent from a year earlier. China accounts for most of the region’s expanded production. At a record 144.0 million tons, China’s 2013/14 rice production is up 1.0 million tons from a year earlier due to expanded area. China’s rice area is projected to 30.6 million hectares, the highest since 1999/2000. This is the sixth consecutive year of expanded rice area in China, largely due to higher Government support prices. China, once a major rice exporter, is now one of the largest rice importers in the world.

The remaining countries in East Asia are rice importers. Japan’s 2013/14 rice production is projected at 7.72 million tons, a slight decline from 2012/13 based on a more normal yield. Area is projected to increase slightly, the second consecutive year of a small area increase. South Korea’s 2013/14 production is projected to increase 5 percent to 4.22 million tons, all due to a record yield. Rice area in South Korea is expected to continue its long-term decline. Taiwan’s production is projected at 1.16 million tons, unchanged from 2012/13. These three East Asian countries import rice solely under WTO agreements. North Korea’s 2013/14 rice production is projected at 1.74 million tons, unchanged from this year. The country has severe food deficit problems.

Rice production in Southeast Asia is projected at 117.5 million tons, an increase of 2 percent from a year earlier. The region includes several large importers and exporters. Thailand’s 2013/14 production is projected at a record 21.1 million tons, an increase of 4.5 percent from a year earlier, as a result of both record area and a record yield. Vietnam’s 2013/14 production is forecast at a record 27.85 million tons, up nearly 1 percent from 2012/13, the result of a record yield. Area remains unchanged at a record 7.82 million hectares. Thailand and Vietnam are major exporters. Burma’s 2013/14 production is projected at 11.0 million tons, up almost 3 percent from a year earlier, a result of a higher yield and expanded area. Area is projected to be larger. Cambodia’s 2013/14 production is projected at a record 4.9 million tons, 6.5 percent larger than 2012/13 production. Both area and yield are the highest on record in Cambodia. Burma and Cambodia are currently mid-level exporters.

Southeast Asia’s rice importers are projected to expand production in 2013/14. Indonesia, the largest rice-producing country in Southeast Asia, is projected to produce 37.7 million tons of rice in 2013/14, up just 0.5 percent from 2012/13, a result of both a small area increase and slightly higher yield. Production in Indonesia remains below the 2008/09 record of 38.3 million tons. Neither area nor yields have increased much in Indonesia in recent years. The Philippines are projected to harvest a record 11.7 million tons of rice in 2013/14, up 3 percent from a year earlier, with both area and yield record-high. The Philippines has increased production at a solid pace in recent years, partly due to expanded use of highyielding hybrid varieties. Malaysia is projected to harvest a record 1.75 million tons of rice in 2013/14, a 3-percent increase from a year earlier, mostly due to a higher yield.

Rice production in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected at a near-record 12.9 million tons, an increase of more than 4 percent from 2012/13. The bumper crop is due to a 0.6-million hectare area expansion to a record 9.62 million hectares. Nigeria, the region’s largest rice-producing country, is projected to harvest a record 3.1 million tons, up 31 percent from 2012/13, a result of both expanded area and a record yield. In 2012/13, severe flooding sharply reduced Nigeria’s rice area. Production in Cote D’Ivoire is projected to increase 20 percent to a record 600,000 tons, with both area and yield up from 2012/13. Production is also projected higher in 2013/14 in Mali and Senegal. In contrast, Madagascar’s 2013/14 production is forecast to drop 10 percent to 2.3 million tons, a result of low yields caused by locust damage. Production in Sierra Leone in 2013/14 is projected to drop 15 percent to 693,000 tons as average yields return to trend.

Both North Africa and the Middle East are expected to harvest larger crops in 2013/14. Egypt accounts for the bulk of the rice grown in North Africa and is the only exporter in the region. At a projected 4.85 million tons, Egypt’s 2013/14 rice production is up nearly 4 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. The larger crop is the result of record area. In the Middle East, Iran’s 2013/14 production is projected to increase 2 percent to 1.58 million tons due to a slightly higher yield. Despite the increase, both area and production remain well below levels reported before 2008/09. Iraq’s 2013/14 production is projected at 180,000 tons, an increase of 54 percent from a year earlier and the largest since 2007/08. Finally, Turkey’s 2013/14 production is projected to decline 3 percent to 470,000 tons due to smaller area, caused by reduced profitability and marketing problems.

Rice production in South America is projected to increase almost 3 percent to a near-record 16.3 million tons in 2013/14. South America is the largest rice producing region outside of Asia. The region is a net exporter of rice. Brazil, the largest rice-producing country in the region, is projected to harvest 8.5 million tons of rice in 2013/14, up 4 percent from a year earlier. The bumper crop is the result of expanded area. Argentina is projected to increase production 8 percent in 2013/14 to a near-record 1.04 million tons, a result of both expanded area and a higher yield. Uruguay’s production is projected to remain at almost 1.1 million tons, while Paraguay is projected to harvest a record 285,000 tons of rice. Paraguay’s rice production has nearly doubled since 2008/09. Guyana’s 2013/14 production is projected at a record crop of 423,000 tons, a result of record plantings. These five countries account for the bulk of South America’s rice exports.

Little growth in production is projected for South America’s importers in 2013/14. Colombia’s production is projected to increase slightly to 1.18 million tons based on a more normal yield. Despite the increase, Colombia’s production remains well below levels achieved 5 years ago. Ecuador’s 2013/14 production is projected to increase 2 percent to 790,000 tons due to a return to a normal yield. Peru’s 2013/14 production is projected at a record 2.1 million tons, virtually unchanged from 2012/13. Bolivia’s production is projected to drop 9 percent to 330,000 tons due to weaker area. Finally, Venezuela’s 2013/14 production is projected unchanged from 2012/13 at 385,000 tons, but well below levels achieved prior to 2010/11.

Elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere, production in North America is projected to decline 5 percent to 6.16 million tons, with production projected smaller in both Mexico and the United States, mostly due to reduced area. Rice production in the Caribbean is projected to increase 12 percent to almost 1.0 million tons, with larger crops projected for Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. In Central America, production in 2013/14 is projected to increase about 1 percent to 0.7 million tons, with Costa Rica and Nicaragua accounting for most of the expected increase.

Australia’s production is projected to decline 9 percent to 730,000 tons because of smaller plantings resulting from reduced water availability. Finally, EU rice production is projected nearly unchanged from 2012/13 at 2.1 million tons.

There were several significant production revisions for 2012/13. First, Afghanistan’s 2012/13 production estimate was raised 110,000 tons to a record 460,000 tons based on a much higher yield brought about by favorable weather conditions, sufficient water availability, and technical support provided by the international community. Second, Burma’s production was lowered fractionally to 10.7 million tons based on a weaker yield. Third, India’s 2012/13 production was raised 3.0 million tons to 104.0 million tons based on a higher yield reported by the Government of India in its Third Advanced Estimate. Finally, there were several revisions to Sub-Saharan Africa production estimates largely based on year-end government data and recommendations from the USDA Office in Dakar, Senegal.

Global rice use (including a residual component) for 2013/14 is projected at a record 476.8 million tons, up 1.5 percent from a year earlier. Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Vietnam account for most of the projected increase in global consumption in 2013/14. In contrast, consumption is projected to decline in 2013/14 in Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

Consumption has declined for several decades in both Japan and South Korea due diet diversification.

Global ending stocks for 2013/14 are projected at 107.8 million tons, up 2 percent from 2013/14 and the highest since 2001/02. Thailand accounts for the bulk of the expected increase in global stocks in 2013/14. At 14.2 million tons, Thailand’s 2013/14 ending stocks are up 22 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. The large stocks buildup is the result of the Government’s paddy pledging program. India’s 2013/14 ending stocks are projected to increase 4 percent to a near-record 25.0 million tons, largely due to a record crop. In contrast, ending stocks are projected to decline in 2013/14 in China, Indonesia, the United States, and Vietnam. The global stocks-to-use ratio for 2013/14 is calculated at 22.6 percent, nearly unchanged from a year earlier.

Global Rice Trade in 2014 Projected Nearly Unchanged from 2013

Total calendar year 2014 global rice trade is forecast at 38.6 million tons, nearly unchanged from this year, but 0.5 million tons below the 2012 record. Among the major exporters, India’s exports are projected to decline 0.5 million tons to 8.5 million based on stronger competition from Thailand and Vietnam. Despite the decline, India’s 2014 rice exports are still the second highest on record. Thailand’s 2014 exports are projected at 8.5 million tons, up 0.5 million from this year based on expectations that the Government of Thailand will release some Governmentheld stocks into the global market. Thailand’s exports remain well below the 2011 record of 10.65 million tons.

Vietnam is projected to export a record 7.7 million tons of rice in 2014, an increase of 0.3 million tons from 2013. The strong export forecast is based on large supplies and competitive prices. Pakistan’s 2014 exports are projected to remain at 3.2 million tons, well below the 2010 record as production remains below levels achieved before 2010/11 when severe flooding reduced production. Finally, U.S. 2014 rice exports are projected to decline 0.2 million tons to 3.2 million tons based on tighter supplies and stronger competition in the global market.

Among the mid-sized exporters, Argentina’s 2014 exports are projected to increase 25,000 tons to 625,000 tons—the second highest on record—based on a larger crop. Despite a bumper crop, Brazil’s exports are projected to remain at 850,000 tons. Brazil, once a major rice importer, is now a net exporter of rice. In nearby Uruguay, 2014 exports are forecast at 900,000 tons, unchanged from 2013. With a record crop, Guyana is projected to ship a record 325,000 tons of rice in 2014, up 25,000 tons from this year.

Outside South America, Egypt’s 2014 exports are projected to remain at 850,000 tons, still below the 2012 record 1.1 million tons. Egypt consumes the bulk of the rice it produces. Finally, Australia’s 2014 rice exports are projected at 520,000 tons, up slightly from 2013. The bulk of Australia’s rice crop is exported. Burma’s 2014 exports are projected at 750,000 tons, unchanged from 2013. Cambodia’s 2014 exports are projected to increase slightly to a record 1.0 million tons based on a record crop. Cambodia’s rice exports have risen sharply in recent years.

Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to remain the largest rice-importing region in 2014, importing a near-record 11.7 million tons, an increase of 0.5 million from 2013. Imports are projected to be larger in 2014 in Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. Nigeria’s 2014 imports are projected to remain at a record 2.9 million tons, a result of consumption growth outstripping production. The Middle East is projected to import 6.35 million tons of rice in 2014, up about 0.1 million from 2013, with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen accounting for most of the projected increase. Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia remain the region’s largest importers.

In Southeast Asia, 2014 imports are projected at 4.93 million tons, a 5-percent decline from 2013. The Philippines account for most of the projected import decline. At 1.2 million tons, imports by the Philippines in 2014 are down 0.3 million tons from 2103, mostly due to a record crop. Malaysia’s 2014 rice imports are projected at a record 1.1 million tons, up 50,000 from this year, despite a record crop. Imports account for a much larger share of consumption in Malaysia than in most other Asian countries. Indonesia’s 2014 imports are projected at 1.5 million tons, unchanged from 2013 despite a larger crop.

East Asia’s 2014 rice imports are projected at 4.7 million tons, down 5 percent from a year earlier. China’s 2014 imports are projected to remain at a record 3.0 million tons, making China the world’s largest rice importer. China’s rice imports have been especially strong since 2012, a result of much lower prices for imported rice compared with prices for rice grown in China. Also, since 2012/13, rice consumption has exceeded production in China. In contrast, South Korea’s 2014 imports are projected to drop 230,000 tons to 410,000 tons based on the timing of its WTO imports. Imports by Japan and Taiwan in 2014 are unchanged from 2013 and are limited to imports agreed to under the WTO.

South Asia’s 2014 imports are projected at 1.0 million tons, up 17 percent from a year earlier. Bangladesh accounts for nearly all of the increase. At 430,000 tons, Bangladesh’s 2014 imports are up 130,000 tons from 2013. Despite the increase, imports remain a small share of Bangladesh’s rice consumption. Imports by other countries in the region are projected to be unchanged from 2013. The region is a large net-exporter of rice.

South America’s imports are projected to decline 7 percent to 1.83 million tons. Brazil remains the largest buyer, with imports projected at 700,000 tons in 2014, down 50,000 from this year. Colombia’s 2014 rice imports are projected at 400,000 tons, unchanged from the 2013 record. Colombia’s imports have grown sharply in recent years, largely due to production problems. Venezuela’s 2014 imports remain projected at 370,000 tons and Peru’s at 250,000 tons, both down slightly from a year earlier.

The Caribbean is projected to import 1.0 million tons of rice in 2014, down 7 percent from 2013. Cuba accounts for nearly all of the projected decline. At 450,000 tons, Cuba’s 2014 imports are 75,000 tons below a year earlier, a result of a larger domestic crop. Haiti’s 2014 imports are projected at 400,000 tons, unchanged from a year earlier record. Haiti imports the bulk of its rice consumption. Imports by the remaining islands are much smaller.

Central America is projected to import a record 1.2 million tons, up 2 percent from a year earlier. The region’s production cannot match consumption growth. Costa Rica’s imports are projected to increase 15,000 tons to 100,000 tons. Honduras is projected to import 115,000 tons in 2014, also up 15,000 tons from this year. In contrast, Nicaragua is projected to reduce imports by 30,000 tons to 65,000 tons in 2014, a response to expectations of another record crop.

Elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere, the United States is projected to import a record 725,000 tons of rice in 2014, up 25,000 from 2013, a result of a smaller crop and expectations of continued growth in demand for aromatic rices from Asia. Mexico’s 2014 imports are projected at a record 730,000 tons. Production is declining in Mexico, while consumption continues to grow. EU imports are projected to remain at 1.2 million tons in 2014.

There were several trade revisions for 2013 this month. On the export side, India’s 2013 export forecast was raised 1.4 million tons to 9.0 million tons based on a larger crop and recommendations from the USDA Office in New Delhi. This upward revision was partially offset by a 100,000-ton reduction in the U.S. 2013 export forecast to 3.4 million tons, largely based on a smaller 2013/14 crop and expectations of stronger competition from Asian and South American exporters. Pakistan’s 2013 export forecast was lowered 100,000 tons to 3.2 million tons based on recommendations from the USDA Office in Islamabad. On the import side, China’s 2013 import forecast was raised 600,000 tons to a record 3.0 million tons based on a very strong pace of purchases to date. Indonesia’s imports were boosted 700,000 tons to 1.5 million tons, based on recommendations from the USDA Office in Jakarta.

Thailand’s and Vietnam’s Trading Prices Decline; U.S. Prices Increase

Prices for most grades of Thailand’s higher and medium-quality white milled rice declined 1-2 percent over the past month, as the Government is speeding up its rice stocks sales. In contrast, 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 $561 per ton for the week ending May 6, down $12 from the week ending April 9. Prices for Thailand’s 5-percent brokens were quoted at $548 per ton for the week ending May 6, down $11 from the week ending April 9. Prices for Thailand's 5-percent parboiled rice—a specialty rice—were quoted at $557 per ton for the week ending May 6, down $2 from the week ending April 9.

Price quotes for Thailand’s premium jasmine rice—an aromatic variety—were quoted at $1,146 per ton for the week ending May 6, up $5 from the week ending April 9. Prices for Thailand’s brokens have declined slightly. For the week ending May 6, prices for Thailand’s A-1 Super 100-percent brokens were quoted at $520 per ton, down $15 from the week ending April 9. 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 and large supplies in Asia. For the week ending May 7, prices for Vietnam’s 5-percent double-water-polished with 5-percent brokens were quoted at $375 per ton, down $10 from April 9. Thailand’s price quotes for 5-percent brokens are currently $173 per ton above quotes for Vietnam’s 5-percent doublewater- polished milled rice, about the same as a month earlier, making Vietnam a competitively priced source of rice.

U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have increased since early April, a result of tighter supplies and continued strong export demand. For the week ending May 7, prices for high-quality Southern long-grain rice (No. 2, 4-percent brokens, bagged, free alongside vessel, U.S. Gulf port) were quoted at $661 per ton, up $53 from April 9. U.S. long-grain rough-rice (bulk, fob vessel, New Orleans) were quoted at $375 per ton for the week ending April 9, unchanged from a month earlier.

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 May 7, unchanged since late December. Export prices (for 30 kg bags, fob vessel) for California milled rice were reported at $720 per ton for the week ending May 7, up $20 from mid-April. The California export market has been supported by strong sales to Northeast Asia. 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.

May 2013

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