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USDA Rice Outlook


14 August 2014

USDA Rice Outlook - 14 August 2014USDA Rice Outlook - 14 August 2014


USDA Rice Outlook

U.S. 2014/15 Rice Production Projected at 228.8 Million Cwt

The 2014/15 U.S. rice crop projection was raised 2.8 million cwt to 228.8 million cwt (rough basis) due to a higher yield forecast. Cool, wet weather continues to delay crop progress in much of the South, while progress of the California crop is ahead of normal. The larger U.S. crop was a main factor behind a 3.0-million cwt upward revision in total use of U.S. rice in 2014/15 to 243.0 million cwt. Total domestic and residual use was raised 1.0 million cwt to 134.0 million cwt, and exports were revised up 2.0 million cwt to 109.0 million. On balance, the revisions resulted in a slight drop in the 2014/15 ending stocks forecast to 39.6 million cwt.

The 2014/15 season-average farm price (SAFP) range for U.S. long-grain rice remains projected at $12.00-$13.00 per cwt, well below the $15.40 per cwt forecast for 2013/14 and the lowest since 2010/11. The combined medium- and short-grain 2014/15 U.S. SAFP range was raised 50 cents on both ends to $17.50-$18.50 per cwt, compared with a$17.80 per cwt SAFP in 2013/14.

Global rice production for 2014/15 is forecast at 477.3 million tons (milled basis), down 2.1 million tons from last month’s forecast but still the largest crop on record. Production forecasts for 2014/15 were lowered for Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, India, and Indonesia, but raised for the United States. Global rice consumption and residual use in 2014/15 is projected at a record 482.1 million tons, pulling ending stocks down 5 percent from 2013/14 to 105.4 million tons.

Total calendar year 2015 global rice trade is forecast at a record 41.2 million tons, largely driven by record imports by Sub-Saharan Africa and China. Export forecasts for 2015 were lowered for Australia and India, while Bangladesh’s 2015 import forecast was raised.

Prices for all grades of Thailand’s regular-milled white rice have increased by 4 to 8 percent since early July, mostly due to tight supplies of exportable rice. Price quotes from Vietnam have increased 7 percent over the past month, largely due to tighter supplies and strong demand. U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have declined over the past month, while U.S. medium-grain prices are unchanged.

Domestic Outlook

U.S. 2014/15 Rice Production Projected at 228.8 Million Cwt

The 2014/15 U.S. rice crop is projected at 228.8 million cwt (rough basis), an increase of 2.8 million cwt from last month’s forecast and more than 20 percent larger than a year earlier. This month’s upward revision is based on a higher yield. At 7,560 pounds per acre, the 2014/15 yield is up 91 pounds from the previous forecast, but still almost 2 percent below the year-earlier record.

The 2014/15 yield forecast is based on a NASS survey of producers conducted in late July and early August that asked producers what they thought their yields would be as of August 1. NASS will provide updated survey-based yield forecasts for all-rice and by State in September, October, and November. In January 2015, NASS will provide year-end area, yield, and production estimates for the 2014/15 rice crop by State and class.

The 2014/15 U.S. long-grain production forecast was increased 0.3 million cwt to 169.3 million cwt, up 28 percent from a year earlier and the largest since the 2010/11 record long-grain crop of 183.3 million cwt was harvested. The combined medium- and short-grain production forecast was increased 2.5 million cwt to 59.5 million cwt, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier.

U.S. rice plantings in 2014/15 remain estimated at 3.05 million acres, unchanged from the level in the June Acreage report. Plantings were 22 percent above a year earlier and the highest since the near-record 3.64 million acres were planted in 2010/11. The substantial year-to-year increase in 2014/15 was largely the result of higher prices and more normal weather in the South. In 2013/14, heavy rains early in the season prevented the planting of almost 300,000 acres of rice, mostly in the Delta.

Rice plantings increased in 2014/15 in all reported southern rice-growing States except Texas, with Arkansas accounting for the bulk of the expansion in U.S. rice area. Rice plantings in Arkansas increased 46 percent to 1.57 million acres, the highest since the 2010/11 record of 1.8 million acres. Mississippi expanded rice area 36 percent to 170,000 acres, also the highest since 2010/11. Rice plantings in Missouri of 216,000 acres were up 36 percent from a year earlier. On the Gulf Coast, Louisiana’s 2014/15 rice area increased 9 percent to 455,000 acres. In contrast, rice plantings in Texas declined more than 3 percent to 140,000 acres, a result of a third consecutive year of water restrictions. Severe drought, low reservoir levels, and water restrictions caused California rice plantings to decline nearly 13 percent in 2014/15 to 495,000 acres.

Yields in 2014/15 are forecast lower than a year earlier in all reported States except Texas. In Arkansas, the 2014/15 average field yield is projected at 7,500 pounds per acre, a decline of almost 1 percent from the year-earlier record. Mississippi’s projected yield of 7,000 tons per acre is down more than 5 percent from the yearearlier record. Missouri’s 2014/15 rice yield of 6,600 pounds per acre is 6 percent below the year-earlier record. At 7,200 pounds per acre, Louisiana’s 2014/15 average yield is more than 1 percent below the year-earlier record. In contrast, the Texas yield is forecast at a record 8,600 pounds per acre, an increase of 11 percent from a year earlier. In 2013/14, late-season conditions were nearly ideal for rice production, a major factor behind the record yields reported last year in several southern States.

In California, the 2014/15 yield is projected at 8,400 pounds per acre, down 1 percent from a year earlier and 200 pounds below the record of 8,600 pounds most recently achieved in 2009/10. Conditions have been quite favorable for rice growing in California this year and crop progress has been well ahead of normal. Water restrictions are the main factor limiting this year’s rice production in California.

Production is projected higher in all reported States in 2014/15 except for California, with Arkansas accounting for the bulk of the 38.9-million cwt increase. The larger crops are the result of area expansion in each State except in Texas. At 117.4 million cwt, Arkansas’ 2014/15 rice crop is up 45 percent from a year earlier and the largest on record. Mississippi’s 2014/15 production of 11.8 million cwt is up 29 percent from a year earlier. Louisiana’s near-record crop of 32.4 million cwt is almost 8 percent larger than a year earlier. In Missouri, 2014/15 production is forecast at 14.1 million cwt, 28 percent above a year earlier. The Texas crop of nearly 12.0 million cwt is 7 percent larger than a year earlier, the result of a record yield. In contrast, California’s 2014/15 production is projected to decline 13.5 percent from a year earlier, mostly due to smaller area.

Progress of the 2014/15 U.S. Rice Crop Remains Behind Normal

Progress of the 2014/15 remains behind normal in much of the Delta, a result of a cold, wet spring that delayed plantings and continued cooler and wetter than normal weather. For the week ending August 10, 71 percent of the U.S. crop was reported heading, 1 percentage point above the U.S. 5-year average. In Arkansas, just 65 percent of the crop was reported headed by August 10, behind the State average of 73 percent. In nearby Mississippi, 78 percent of the crop was reported headed by August 10, behind the State’s 5-year average of 84 percent. In contrast, 66 percent of Missouri’s crop was reported headed by August 10, well ahead of the State’s average of 50 percent. Harvest typically begins by mid-August in the Delta but will likely start about 2 weeks behind normal this year.

On the Gulf Coast, 95 percent of Louisiana’s 2014/15 crop was reported headed by August 10, unchanged from the State’s 5-year average. In Texas, heading was reported 96-percent complete by August 10, 1 percentage point ahead of the State’s 5-year average. In both of these Gulf Coast States, harvest is expected to start about 2 weeks behind schedule, mostly due to cooler and wetter than normal weather. California’s 2014/15 crop was reported 60-percent headed by August 10, well ahead of the State’s 5-year average of 35 percent.

The conditions of the 2014/15 U.S. rice crop continue to improve. For the week ending August 10, 73 percent of the U.S. rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 3 percentage points from a month earlier and up 2 percentage points from a year earlier. These are the highest crop condition ratings to date for the 2014/15 U.S. rice crop. In Arkansas, 65 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 3 percentage points from a month earlier and 2 percentage points higher than a year earlier. Eighty-six percent of Mississippi’s 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition for the week ending August 10, down 2 percentage points from a month earlier but well above 68 percent a year earlier. In Missouri, 67 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, an increase of 2 percentage points from a month earlier but unchanged from last year.

In Louisiana, for the week ending August 10, 80 percent of the 2014/15 crop was rated in good or excellent condition, unchanged from a month earlier but well ahead of 74 percent a year earlier. Texas reported the lowest crop conditions among U.S. rice-growing States. For the week ending August 10, 54 percent of the 2014/15 Texas rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, 1 or 2 percentage points above both a month and a year earlier. Texas is experiencing a third consecutive year of water restrictions. California’s crop ratings continue to increase. For the week ending August 10, 85 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 5 percentage points from a month earlier but still below the 90 percent reported last year.

U.S. Rice Supplies in 2014/15 Projected To Increase 13 Percent

Total U.S. supplies of rice in 2014/15 are projected at 282.6 million cwt, up 2.8 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 13 percent above a year earlier. Total supplies are second only to the record 297.9 million cwt reported in 2010/11. In 2014/15, a much larger crop is expected to more than offset a smaller carryin and weaker imports. By class, long-grain supplies areprojected at 207.1 million cwt, up 0.3 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 19.5 percent larger than a year earlier. Medium- and short-grain total supplies are projected at 73.1 million cwt, an increase of 2.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast, but still down almost 1 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. Carryin and imports of medium- and short-grain rice are projected to be smaller in 2014/15 than a year earlier.

The all-rice beginning stocks forecast for 2014/15 remains projected at 32.8 million cwt, 10 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 2009/10. The 2014/15 long-grain carryin remains forecast at 19.3 million cwt, 12 percent smaller than a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. The medium- and short-grain carryin remains forecast at 11.2 million cwt, 8 percent below a year earlier. Stocks of brokens, included in the all-rice estimate, are not classified by class. Total U.S. rice imports in 2014/15 remain projected at 21.0 million cwt, 9 percent below a year earlier. In 2013/14, about 2 million cwt of brokens were imported due to tight supplies of U.S. brokens. Because of the larger crop and increased millings, the supply of U.S. brokens is expected to be larger in 2014/15. Long-grain imports remain projected at 18.5 million cwt, down 5 percent from the year-earlier record. Thailand is expected to again supply more than 70 percent of U.S. longgrain imports, shipping mostly its premium jasmine rice, an aromatic. Basmati rice from India and Pakistan supplies much of the remaining U.S. long-grain rice imports.

Combined medium- and short-grain rice imports remain projected at 2.5 million cwt, almost 29 percent below a year earlier. In 2013/14, the U.S. imported nearly 1.0 million cwt of broken rice kernels from Australia, a major exporter of mediumand short-grain rice. The United States does not typically import brokens from Australia. Specialty rice from Thailand accounts for the bulk of U.S. imports of medium- and short-grain rice. Italy supplies a small amount of Arborio rice to the United States each year.

U.S. 2014/15 Export Forecast Raised to 109.0 Million Cwt

Total use of U.S. rice in 2014/15 is projected at 243.0 million cwt, up 3.0 million from last month’s forecast and 12 percent larger than a year earlier. Both total domestic use (including a residual component) and exports were revised up this month, with medium- and short-grain accounting for all of the upward revisions. Total long-grain use in 2014/15 remains projected at 178.0 million cwt, 16 percent larger than a year earlier. Combined medium- and short-grain rice total use is projected at 65.0 million cwt, up 3.0 million from last month’s forecast and 4 percent higher than a year earlier.

Total domestic and residual use of all rice in 2014/15 is projected at 134.0 million cwt, up 1.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 9 percent larger than a year earlier. The upward revision is primarily based on expectations of a slightly larger residual component associated with the higher crop forecast. Long-grain domestic and residual use remains projected at 103.0 million cwt, 13 percent above a year earlier. Long-grain domestic and residual in 2014/15 is second only to the record 108.6 reported in 2010/11. Combined medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use is forecast at 31.0 million cwt, up 1.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast but still 3 percent below a year earlier.

Total exports in 2014/15 are projected at 109.0 million cwt, up 2.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 17 percent larger than a year earlier. The monthly revision is primarily based on larger U.S. supplies and tighter global exportable supplies. On an annual basis, U.S. rice is expected to be more price competitive, likely boosting U.S. sales to the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, two key markets where the United States competes with Asian exporters.

U.S. long-grain exports remain projected at 75.0 million cwt, 19 percent above a year earlier. U.S. long-grain prices are projected to be lower in 2014/15 and to carry a smaller price difference above Asian competitors, major factors driving the projected increase in U.S. long-grain exports. The Western Hemisphere is the largest export market for U.S. long-grain rice, accounting for two-thirds of U.S. long-grain shipments. The Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa are the next largest markets for U.S. long-grain and are expected to account for most of the increase in shipments in 2014/15.

Combined medium- and short-grain U.S. exports in 2014/15 are projected at 34.0 million cwt, up 2.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and almost 12 percent larger than a year earlier. Northeast Asia and the Middle East (including North Africa) account for the bulk of U.S. medium- and short-grain exports. In years when Australia’s supplies are tight, the U.S. often expands exports to Oceania, a region typically supplied by Australia.

By type, U.S. rough-rice exports remain projected at 34.0 million cwt, up 15 percent from a year earlier. Long-grain accounts for the bulk of U.S. rough-rice exports, with Latin America the top regional market and Mexico and Central America the largest buyers. Southern long-grain accounts for nearly all of the U.S. rough-rice shipments to Latin America. Turkey and Libya account for the bulk of U.S. medium- and short-grain rough-rice exports, taking mostly California rice.

Combined milled- and brown-rice exports (on a rough basis) are projected at 75.0 million cwt, up 2.0 million cwt from the previous forecast and 17 percent larger than a year earlier. Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Haiti, Canada, and Sub- Saharan Africa are the largest export markets for U.S. milled-rice exports. The expected increase in 2014/15 is based on a much smaller U.S. price difference over Asian competitors and larger U.S. supplies.

U.S. ending stocks of all rice in 2014/15 are projected at 39.6 million cwt, down 0.2 million cwt from last month’s forecast but still 21 percent larger than a year earlier. The stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 16.3 percent, up from 15.2 percent in 2013/14.

By class, the 2014/15 U.S. long-grain carryout is projected at 29.1 million cwt, 0.3 million cwt above last month’s forecast and 51 percent larger than a year earlier. These are the largest U.S. long-grain ending stocks since 2010/11. Expectations of ending stocks of this level will likely pressure prices lower throughout the market year. The long-grain stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 16.3 percent, up from 12.5 percent in 2013/14.

The medium- and short-grain carryout is projected at 8.1 million cwt, down 0.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 27 percent smaller than a year earlier. These are the lowest ending stocks of medium- and short-grain rice since 2008/09. The medium- and short-grain stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 12.5 percent, down from 14.0 percent last month and 17.9 percent in 2013/14.

There were minor revisions to the U.S. 2010/11, 2011/12, and 2012/13 rice balance sheets based on 2011-2013 revisions in U.S. monthly trade data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The trade revisions were offset by revised total domestic and residual use estimates. In addition, in 2013/14, 0.5 million cwt was shifted from rough-rice exports to milled rice exports, based on Census shipment data through June and sales and shipment data through July reported in U.S. Export Sales.

U.S. Medium- and Short-grain 2014/15 Season-Average Farm Price Forecast Raised

The 2014/15 season-average farm price (SAFP) range for U.S. long-grain rice is projected at $12.00-$13.00 per cwt, unchanged from last month but well below the $15.40 per cwt forecast for 2013/14 and the lowest since 2010/11. The expected decline is primarily based on larger U.S. supplies. The combined medium- and short-grain 2014/15 U.S. SAFP range is projected at $17.50-$18.50 per cwt, up 50 cents on both the high and low ends from last month’s forecast. This compares with a $17.80 per cwt SAFP for 2013/14. The upward revision is based on tighter global exportable supplies of medium- and short-grain rice. In 2014/15, a larger share of the U.S. medium- and short-grain crop will come from the South, which typically sells at a lower price than California medium- and short-grain rice. This factor will partially offset impacts from tighter global exportable supplies.

The 2014/15 all-rice SAFP was raised 30 cents on both ends to $13.80-$14.80 per cwt due to the higher medium- and short-grain SAFP. The 2013/14 SAFP for longgrain and combined medium- and short-grain rice was not revised this month. However, the 2013/14 all-rice SAFP was lowered 20 cents to $15.90 per cwt due to changes in marketings by class.

In late July, NASS reported a mid-June U.S. long-grain rough-rice price of $16.00 per cwt, up 40 cents from the revised June estimate. The mid-July long-grain price is the highest since December 2008. The June price was lowered 20 cents to $15.60 from a preliminary $15.80. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, the mid- July NASS price was reported at $19.20 per cwt, up 40 cents from the June price. The June price of $18.80 per cwt is 10 cents above the preliminary price of $18.70 per cwt.

International Outlook

Production Forecasts for 2014/15 Lowered for Bangladesh, Brazil, India, and Indonesia

Global rice production for 2014/15 is forecast at 477.3 million tons (milled basis), down 2.1 million tons from last month’s forecast but still up 1.5 million tons from 2013/14 and the largest crop on record. India accounts for almost half of this month’s downward revision in global rice production. East Asia and Southeast Asia are projected to harvest record crops in 2014/15. Sub-Saharan Africa’s production is projected to be a near-record. In contrast, rice production in South Asia is projected to decline 2 percent in 2014/15, mostly due to a smaller crop in India.

The record global crop in 2014/15 is the result of expanded area. At a record 161.0 million hectares, global rice area in 2014/15 is up almost 0.1 million hectares from a year earlier. The average global yield is forecast at 4.42 tons per hectare (on a rough-rice basis), nearly unchanged from 2013/14 but fractionally below the 2012/13 record of 4.45 tons.

There were five major reductions in 2014/15 global production forecasts this month. First, India’s 2014/15 rice production forecast was lowered 1.0 million tons to 103.0 million tons based on a delayed and weaker than normal monsoon that has reduced expected plantings, especially in West Bengal and Bihar. The monsoon started about 2 weeks late this year, with much of the country receiving below normal rainfall until late July. However, rainfall has picked up sharply since late July, with kharif crop plantings just 2 percent behind normal by August 8. About half of India’s kharif crop relies on flooding from the monsoon, making India’s rice crop very dependent on the timing and duration of the monsoon. The kharif crop accounts for about 85 percent of India’s annual rice production. The 2014/15 India rice crop is projected to be 3 percent below the year-earlier record, a result of a lower yield and smaller area.

In nearby Bangladesh, the 2014/15 production forecast was lowered 0.2 million tons to 34.6 million tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Dhaka indicating smaller Boro crop area because of high irrigation costs, which are expected to encourage farmers to switch to more profitable crops such as corn, wheat, potatoes, pulses, and oilseeds. The Boro crop is the largest of Bangladesh’s three annual rice crops, achieves the highest yields, and is all irrigated. Despite this month’s downward revision, Bangladesh’s 2014/15 total rice production is still projected to be the highest on record, a result of both record plantings and higher yield.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s 2014/15 rice production forecast was lowered 700,000 tons to 37.0 million tons due to a lower yield. The yield was lowered based on a revised 2013/14 yield. Despite this month’s downward revision, Indonesia’s rice production in 2014/15 is up nearly 3 percent from a year earlier, a result of both expanded area and a higher yield. Rice area and production in Indonesia remain below the records achieved in 2008/09. Indonesia has little potential to increase rice production. There is virtually no room for area expansion on Java—where more than half of Indonesia’s rice crop is produced—and yields on fields elsewhere in the country are much lower.

Outside of Asia, Brazil’s 2014/15 rice production forecast was lowered 0.15 million tons to 8.35 million tons based on a lower yield. The yield was lowered due to a revised 2013/14 yield. Production is still up almost 1 percent from a year earlier, a result of expanded area. The yield is projected to be slightly below the year-earlier record. About two-thirds of Brazil’s rice crop is grown in Rio Grande du Sol, all under irrigated conditions, achieving the highest yields in the country. Finally, Australia’s 2014/15 crop was reduced 72,000 tons to 504,000 tons based on low reservoir levels that are expected to reduce plantings 10,000 hectares to 70,000 hectares. Australia’s 2014/15 rice crop will be harvested in April-May 2015.

There were several smaller production revisions for 2014/15 this month, with three of them in Latin America. First, Nicaragua’s 2014/15 rice production was lowered 30,000 tons to 284,000 tons based on UN-FAO data indicating both smaller area and a weaker yield. Second, Venezuela’s 2014/15 production forecast was lowered 10,000 tons to 380,000 tons due to drought, which has especially hurt rice production in the State of Guárico. Third, Mexico’s 2014/15 production forecast was reduced 5,000 tons to 128,000 tons based on information from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Mexico City indicating slightly lower area and a weaker yield.

Outside Latin America, Turkey’s 2014/15 production forecast was lowered 5,000 tons to 128,000 tons based on information from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Ankara indicating slightly lower area and a weaker yield. The 2014/15 production forecast for the European Union was raised 9,000 tons to almost 2.0 million tons based on slightly higher area. Production forecasts were raised for Italy and Bulgaria. And finally, the U.S. 2014/15 production forecast was raised 89,000 tons to 7.3 million tons based on a higher yield reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Global rice production in 2013/14 is estimated at 475.8 million tons, down 1.7 million tons from last month’s forecast but still almost 1 percent larger than a year earlier. On an annual basis, South Asia and Southeast Asia account for most of the increase in global production in 2013/14.

There were several 2013/14 production revisions in Asia this month. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s 2013/14 production estimate was lowered 1.36 million tons to 36.0 million tons, based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Jakarta indicating lower area in the first crop cycle due to late planting last fall and flooding in northern coastal Java in January and February that cut yields. In nearby Thailand, the 2013/14 production estimate was lowered 40,000 tons to 20.46 million tons based on a slightly lower yield resulting from weaker than normal rainfall in the north and central regions.

In South Asia, Bangladesh’s 2013/14 production estimate was lowered 0.2 million tons to 34.4 million tons, based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Dhaka indicating a slightly smaller Boro crop because of farmers shifting land to lower cost crops such as corn, wheat, and potatoes. In East Asia, China’s 2013/14 production estimate was raised 0.23 million tons to 142.53 million tons based on a higher yield reported by the Government in the Statistical Abstract. This was the only upward production revision for 2013/14 made this month. In contrast Taiwan’s 2013/14 production estimate was lowered 18,000 tons to 1.11 million tons based on Government data reporting a lower yield.

The remaining 2013/14 production revisions were all in Latin America. First, Brazil’s 2013/14 production estimate was lowered 0.2 million tons to 8.3 million based on Government data indicating a lower yield. Uruguay’s 2013/14 production estimate was reduced 42,000 tons to 910,000 tons based on rains at harvest that lowered the yield. Finally, Nicaragua’s 2013/14 production was lowered 32,000 tons to 282,000 tons based on FAO data indicating lower area and a weaker yield.

Global rice consumption and residual use in 2014/15 is projected at a record 482.1 million tons, down 0.3 million from last month’s forecast but still more than 1 percent larger than a year earlier. Consumption (including the residual) exceeds production in 2014/15 by 4.7 million tons. Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States account for the bulk of the projected increase in global consumption and residual use in 2014/15.

Global ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected at 105.4 million tons, down 3.2 million tons from last month’s forecast and 5 percent below a year earlier and the first decline since 2003/04. Brazil, India, and Indonesia account for most of this month’s downward revision in the 2014/15 global ending stocks forecast. In contrast, China’s ending stocks were revised up slightly. On an annual basis, China, India, and Indonesia account for most of the expected decline in global ending stocks in 2014/15. Thailand’s ending stocks are projected to remain at a nearrecord high, and U.S. ending stocks are projected to increase 20 percent. The global stocks-to-use ratio for 2014/15 is calculated at 21.9 percent, down from 23.2 percent a year earlier.

India’s 2015 Rice Export Forecast Lowered to 8.7 Million Tons

Total calendar year 2015 global rice trade is forecast at a record 41.2 million tons, down 0.4 million tons from the previous forecast but 1 percent higher than 2014. The increase in trade in 2015 is largely driven by projections for record imports by Sub-Saharan Africa and China and abundant exportable supplies in Asia and in the Western Hemisphere.

There were three 2015 export revisions this month. First, India’s 2015 export forecast was lowered 0.3 million tons to 8.7 million tons, down 13 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2011. This month’s downward revision was based on a smaller crop. Second, Australia’s 2015 export forecast was reduced 50,000 tons to 400,000 tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Canberra and a smaller crop. Finally, Turkey’s 2015 export forecast was lowered from 60,000 tons to 30,000 tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Ankara and a smaller crop.

On an annual basis, Thailand is projected to replace India as the largest rice exporter, shipping 10.0 million tons, an increase of 11 percent from 2014 and the highest since the record of 10.6 million was shipped in 2011. The projected increase in 2015 is based on more competitive prices and abundant supplies. In contrast, India’s projected exports of 8.7 million tons are 13 percent below this year, a result of a smaller crop and higher domestic use. The number three exporter in 2015 is Vietnam, projected to ship 6.7 million tons of rice in 2015, a 3-percent increase from a year earlier. Vietnam’s supplies in 2014/15 are projected to be the highest on record, while little, if any, growth in consumption is expected. Pakistan’s exports are projected to remain unchanged from this year’s near-record 3.9 million tons. U.S. exports are projected to increase 11 percent to 3.5 million tons, a result of larger supplies and more competitive prices. These five countries account for about 85 percent of global rice exports.

There were two country-specific 2015 import revisions this month. First, Bangladesh’s 2015 import forecast was raised 0.3 million tons to 0.5 million tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Dhaka and a smaller crop. Second, Turkey’s 2015 import forecast was increased 10,000 tons to 300,000 tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Ankara and a smaller crop.

On an annual basis, China is projected to import a record 3.7 million tons in 2015, up 16 percent from 2014. High domestic prices, slow production growth, and rising use are the main factors driving China’s rice imports. The number 2 rice-importer, Nigeria, is projected to import 3.5 million tons in 2015, an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. Despite long-term efforts to raise rice area and yields, production has not kept pace with consumption growth in Nigeria. Although the Philippines are projected to harvest a record crop in 2014/15, imports are projected to increase 10 percent in 2015 to 1.6 million tons, the highest since 2010. In contrast, Indonesia’s 2015 imports are projected to decline 33 percent to 1.0 million tons.

The 2014 global trade forecast was lowered 0.10 million tons to 40.75 million tons, 1.3 million tons above a year earlier and the second highest on record. The strong pace of trade is largely due to near-record imports by China and Sub-Saharan Africa. On the export side, a 34-percent increase in Thailand’s exports to 9.0 million tons is expected to more than offset weaker shipments from India, Pakistan, the United States, and Vietnam.

There were two 2014 export revisions this month. First, China’s 2014 export forecast was lowered 50,000 tons to 300,000 tons based on revised 2013 imports. Second, Turkey’s 2014 exports were lowered from 40,000 tons to 20,000 tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Ankara.

There were four import revisions for 2014 this month. First, China’s 2014 import forecast was raised 300,000 tons to a near-record 3.5 million tons based on shipment data. Second, Bangladesh’s 2014 import forecast was increased 200,000 tons to 700,000 tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Dhaka and a smaller crop. Third, Indonesia’s 2014 import forecast was lowered 100,000 tons to 1.4 million tons based on recommendations from the U.S. Agricultural Office in Jakarta. Finally, South Africa’s 2014 import forecast was reduced 100,000 tons to 1.0 million tons based on shipment data.

Thailand’s Prices Continue To Increase; U.S. Long-grain Prices Decline

Prices for all grades of Thailand’s regular-milled white rice have increased by 4 to 8 percent since early July, mostly due to tight supplies of exportable rice caused by the military Government’s decision to halt the movement of Government rice stocks from storage warehouses until the inspection of rice quantity and quality is completed. On August 7, the Government of Thailand held a public auction for a sale of about 168,000 tons of intervention stocks. However, because the prices were below the minimum Government price, all bids were turned down. Prices for aromatic rice and parboiled rice have also increased over the past month.

Prices for Thailand's high-quality, 100-percent Grade B (fob vessel, Bangkok) milled rice for export were quoted at $448 per ton for the week ending August 11, up $33 from the week ending July 7. Prices for Thailand’s 5-percent brokens were quoted at $429 per ton for the week ending August 11, up $31 from the week ending July 7. Prices for Thailand's 5-percent parboiled rice were quoted at $441 per ton for the week ending August 11, up $18 from the week ending July 7.

Prices for Thailand’s brokens are up 5 percent from early July. For the week ending August 11, prices for Thailand’s A-1 Super 100-percent brokens were quoted at $343 per ton, up $15 from the week ending July 7. Price quotes for Thailand’s premium jasmine rice, an aromatic variety, were quoted at $1,005 per ton for the week ending August 11, up $10 from the week ending July 7. All price quotes for Thailand’s rice are from the Weekly Rice Price Update, reported by the U.S. Agricultural Office in Bangkok.

Price quotes from Vietnam have increased 7 percent over the past month. For the week ending August 12, prices for Vietnam’s double-water-polished milled-rice with 5-percent brokens were quoted at $440 per ton, up $30 from the week ending July 8 but down $25 from a week earlier. Prices have risen over the past month due to tighter supplies and strong demand. Sales to China and Southeast Asia have been especially strong. Thailand’s price quotes for 5-percent brokens are currently $11 per ton below quotes for Vietnam’s 5-percent double-water-polished milled rice, making Thailand a competitive seller. Thailand’s prices typically exceed prices for similar grades of rice from Vietnam by around $50 per ton.

U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have declined over the past month. For the week ending August 12, prices for high-quality U.S. Southern long-grain rice (No. 2, 4-percent brokens, bagged, free alongside vessel, U.S. Gulf port) were quoted at $551 per ton, down $6 from the week ending July 8. The U.S. price difference (adjusted to reflect a free-on-board vessel location) over Thailand’s 100-percent grade B is $118 per ton, down $39 from a month earlier and the lowest since August 2013.Prices for U.S. long-grain rough-rice (bulk, fob vessel, New Orleans) were quoted at $325 per ton for the week ending August 12, down $40 from a month earlier and the lowest since April 2012.

Prices for California’s package-quality medium-grain rice (bulk) for domestic sales to processors and repackagers are quoted at $948 per ton for the week ending August 12, unchanged from a month earlier but down $44 from mid-July. The market has been quiet. Export prices (sacked, port of Oakland) for California milled rice remain quoted at $1,130 per ton. Price quotes for Vietnam, U.S. longand medium-grain milled-rice, and U.S. rough-rice export prices are from the weekly Creed Rice Market Report.

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