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USDA Rice Outlook


14 May 2012

USDA Rice Outlook - 14 May 2012USDA Rice Outlook - 14 May 2012

Total supplies of U.S. rice in 2012/13 are projected at 239.0 million cwt, a decline of 6 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2000/01. A big decline in carryin and a slightly smaller crop are projected to more than offset higher imports.
USDA Rice Outlook

U.S. 2012/13 Rice Crop Forecast at 183.0 Million Cwt

Total supplies of U.S. rice in 2012/13 are projected at 239.0 million cwt, a decline of 6 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2000/01. A big decline in carryin and a slightly smaller crop are projected to more than offset higher imports.

The 2012/13 U.S. rice crop is forecast at 183.0 million cwt, down 1 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 1997/98. Total imports for 2012/13 are projected at 22.0 million cwt, an increase of 7 percent from a year earlier and second only to the 2007/08 record. Beginning stocks in 2012/13 are forecast 34.0 million cwt, 30 percent below a year earlier.

Total use of U.S. rice in 2012/13 is projected at 212.0 million cwt, down 8 million cwt from a year earlier. Total exports of U.S. rice in 2012/13 are projected at 89.0 million cwt, down 8.0 million cwt from the 2011/12 revised estimate and the lowest since 2000/01. Total domestic and residual use of all-rice in 2012/13 is projected at 123.0 million cwt, unchanged from a year earlier. U.S. ending stocks of all-rice in 2012/13 are projected at 27.0 million cwt, down 7.0 million cwt from a year earlier and the smallest since 2003/04.

The 2012/13 season-average farm price (SAFP) for U.S. long-grain rice is projected at $14.50-$15.50 per cwt, up from a revised $13.20-$13.60 per cwt a year earlier. The combined medium- and short-grain 2012/13 U.S. SAFP is projected at $17.25-$18.25 per cwt, compared with $15.50-$15.90 a year earlier. The higher expected prices for both classes of rice are largely due to much tighter U.S. supplies.

Global rice production for 2012/13 is forecast at a record 466.4 million tons (milled basis), an increase of less than 1 percent from a year earlier, a result of expanded area. Record crops are projected for Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. In contrast, production is projected to decline in 2012/13 in Argentina, Egypt, Japan, the United States and Uruguay. Global disappearance for 2012/13 is projected at 465.7 million tons, up almost 2 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. Global ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 104.9 million tons, up 0.7 million tons from a year earlier and largest since 2001/02.

Global calendar year 2013 trade is forecast at 35.2 million tons, an increase of 3 percent from a year earlier and second only to the 2011 record of 35.9 million tons. On the export side, substantial increases by Burma, Cambodia, China, Pakistan, and Thailand are projected to more than offset lower shipments from Argentina, India, and the United States. On the import side, most major Asia importers are projected to import less rice in 2013.

Prices for most grades of Thailand’s parboiled and white rice have risen over the past month. In contrast, price quotes from Vietnam declined slightly over the past month, as business has softened slightly. U.S. long-grain milled-rice prices have increased from a month earlier, largely a response to expectations of a much smaller crop in 2012/13. Prices for California rice for the domestic and export markets have remained unchanged over the past month.

Domestic Outlook

U.S. 2012/13 Rice Crop
Forecast at 183.0 Million Cwt

The 2012/13 U.S. rice crop is forecast at 183.0 million cwt, down 1 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 1997/98. Combined medium- and short-grain accounts for all of the projected production decline. At 55.5 million cwt, medium- and short-grain production is 19 percent smaller than a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. In contrast, long-grain rice production is projected to increase nearly 10 percent to 127.5 million cwt, still the second smallest long-grain crop since 1987/88.

The smaller total rice crop forecast is based on an intended 5-percent drop in rice plantings to 2.56 million acres, the smallest since 1987/88. The 2012/13 area estimate is from the March 2012 Prospective Plantings report. The first survey of actual plantings of the 2012/13 crop will be conducted in early June and released in the Acreage report on June 29, 2012. Total harvested area is estimated at 2.53 million acres and is based on the 2007/08-2011/12 average harvested-to-planted ratio.

By class, U.S. long-grain 2012/13 plantings were indicated at 1.86 million acres, up 4 percent from a year earlier. In 2011/12, severe early season-flooding across the Delta contributed to a 37-percent decline in U.S. long-grain plantings. In contrast, medium- and short-grain plantings in 2012/13 were indicated at 697,000 acres, a decline of 22 percent from a year earlier. The South accounted for 80 percent of the indicated decline in U.S. medium- and short-grain plantings in 2012/13. All reported States indicated weaker rice plantings in 2012/13 except for Louisiana and Missouri, with Texas and Mississippi reporting the largest percentage decline. Higher returns for competing crops—mostly corn and soybeans in the Delta—and severe water restrictions in Texas account for most of the intended U.S. rice area decline in 2012/13.

The 2012/13 all-rice average yield is forecast at a record 7,225 pounds per acre, an increase of 2-percent from a year earlier. The long-grain 2012/13 average yield is forecast at 6,923 pounds per cwt, up 3.5 percent from a year earlier, but still 58 pounds below the 2007/08 record. The medium- and short-grain yield is forecast at 8,032 pounds per acre, up 3 percent from a year earlier, but still 31 pounds below the 2008/09 record. Yield forecasts by class are based on 1990-2011 trends. The all-rice yield forecast is simply total production—the sum of long-grain production plus combined medium- and short-grain production—divided by estimated harvested area.

2012/13 U.S. Rice Crop Progress
Remains Ahead of Normal in the Delta

For the week ending May 6, 77 percent of the U.S. rice crop was reported planted, ahead of 52 percent a year earlier and the U.S. 5-year average of 68 percent. Planting was virtually complete across the South, with the Delta’s planting pace sharply ahead of normal. In Arkansas, 97 percent of the crop was reported planted by May 6, up from just 51 percent last year and a 5-year average of 70 percent. Mississippi’s 2012/13 rice crop was 98 percent planted by May 6, up from 75 percent last year and the State’s 5- year average of 78 percent. In Missouri, 98 percent of the 2012/13 rice crop was reported planted by May 6, well ahead of just 14 percent last year and the State’s average of 55 percent. These are the earliest planting paces reported for the Delta States. In 2011/12, severe flooding delayed planting of much of the rice in the Delta and caused some early-planted rice to be replanted.

On the Gulf Coast, planting progress was near normal. For the week ending May 6, 93 percent of the Louisiana crop was reported planted, nearly even with last year and the State’s 5-year average. In Texas, 93 percent of the crop was reported planted by May 6, also even with last year and the State’s 5-year average. In contrast to the South, just 10 percent of the California crop was reported planted by May 10, slightly behind last year and 27 percentage points behind the State’s 5-year average. California experienced a cool, wet spring that delayed planting. Since the beginning of May, weather conditions in California have improved for rice plantings.

By May 6, 67 percent of the U.S. rice crop had emerged, up from 42 percent a year earlier and the U.S. average of 46 percent. Emergence was well ahead of normal in the Delta and slightly ahead on the Gulf Coast. In Arkansas, 86 percent of the crop had emerged by May 6, up from just 40 percent last year and the State’s 5-year average of 47 percent. For Mississippi, 89 percent of the crop had emerged by May 6, up from 63 percent last year and the State’s average of 59 percent. In Missouri, 81 percent of the crop had emerged by May 6, sharply ahead of just 8 percent last year and well ahead of the State’s 5-year average of 30 percent.

In Texas, 84 percent of the 2012/13 rice crop had emerged by May 6, up from 79 percent last year and the Texas average of 80 percent. For Louisiana, 85 percent of the crop had emerged by May 6, behind 90 percent last year but slightly ahead of the State’s 5-year average of 83 percent. None of the California crop had emerged by May 7, unchanged from last year, but behind the State’s 5-year average of 7 percent.

For the week ending May 6, 66 percent of the U.S. crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 1 percentage point from a week earlier. Crop conditions were the highest on the Gulf Coast and lowest in the upper Delta States of Arkansas and Missouri. In Arkansas, 61 percent of the crop was rated in good or excellent condition for the week ending May 6, up from 58 percent a week earlier. Additionally, 12 percent of the Arkansas crop was rated in very poor or poor condition, up from 11 percent a week earlier. The State has experienced extremely dry weather this spring. The conditions in nearby Missouri are similar. For the week ending May 6, 59 percent of Missouri’s crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 3 percentage points from a week earlier. An additional 7 percent of Missouri’s crop was rated in poor condition.

In Louisiana, 74 percent of the crop was rated in good or excellent condition, unchanged from last week. For Texas, 78 percent of the crop was rated in good or excellent condition, down 2 percentage points from a week earlier, with 5 percent of the crop reported in poor condition. Texas has experienced severe drought in recent years. In Mississippi, 77 percent of the crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 1 percentage point from last week. Crop conditions for California have not yet been reported for 2012/13.

U.S. 2012/13 Total Supplies
Projected To Drop to 239.0 Million Cwt

Total supplies of rice in 2012/13 are projected at 239.0 million cwt, a decline of 6 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2000/01. In 2012/13, a big decline in carryin and a slightly smaller crop are projected to more than offset higher imports. By class, long-grain supplies are projected at 166.6 million cwt, down 2 percent from a year earlier and smallest since 2000/01. Medium- and short-grain supplies are forecast at 69.7 million cwt, a drop of 14 percent from the earlier record.

Beginning stocks in 2012/13 are forecast at 34.0 million cwt, 30 percent below a year earlier. The 2012/13 long-grain carryin is forecast at 20.1 million cwt, 44 percent smaller than a year earlier. The medium- and short-grain carryin is forecast at 11.2 million cwt, up 11 percent from a year earlier. Stocks of brokens are not classified by class.

The 2012/13 U.S. rice crop is forecast to be down 2.0 million cwt from a year earlier, with a 13.1-million cwt drop in medium- and short-grain production more than offsetting an 11.1-million cwt increase in long-grain production.

Total imports for 2012/13 are projected at 22.0 million cwt, an increase of 7 percent from a year earlier and second only to the 2007/08 record. Some of the expected increase is based on much tighter supplies of U.S. rice in 2012/13. Long-grain imports are projected at a record 19.0 million cwt, an increase of almost 6 percent from a year earlier. Thailand supplies the bulk of U.S. long-grain imports, mainly shipping its premium jasmine rice, an aromatic. Basmati rice from India and Pakistan accounts for most of the remaining U.S. long-grain imports. Medium- and short-grain imports are projected at 3.0 million cwt for 2012/13, an increase of 20 percent from a year earlier. Specialty rice from Thailand that is classified as medium- and short-grain accounts for the bulk of U.S. medium- and short-grain imports. Arborio rice from Italy accounts for most of the remainder.

U.S. Rice Exports in 2012/13 Projected To
Decline 8 Percent to 89 Million Cwt

Total use of U.S. rice in 2012/13 is projected at 212.0 million cwt, down 8 million cwt from a year earlier, with exports accounting for all of the projected decline in total use. By class, long-grain total use is projected at 150.0 million cwt, unchanged from a year earlier. In contrast, medium/short-grain total use is forecast to decline 8.0 million cwt to 62.0 million.

Total domestic and residual use of all-rice in 2012/13 is projected at 123.0 million cwt, unchanged from a year earlier. The lack of any projected increase in total domestic and residual use is partly based on expected continued decline in rice use by brewers. There are sharp differences in changes in domestic use by class. For long-grain, domestic and residual use is projected to increase 3.0 million cwt to 91.0 million cwt. In contrast, medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use is projected at 32.0 million cwt, down 3.0 million from a year earlier, with the decline partly due to much higher expected prices for medium- and short-grain rice.

Total exports of U.S. rice in 2012/13 are projected at 89.0 million cwt, down 8.0 million cwt from the 2011/12 revised estimate and the lowest since 2000/01. The substantial decline is based on smaller U.S. supplies and a much wider price difference between U.S. rice and major Asian competitors. By type, U.S. rough-rice exports are projected to drop 3.0 million cwt to 32.0 million, the lowest since 2008/09. Latin America—the largest market for U.S. rough-rice—is expected to account for much of the decline. Milled rice exports (combined milled and brown rice exports converted to a rough-basis) are projected at 57 million cwt, a 5-million cwt drop from a year earlier and the lowest since 1975/76.

By class, long-grain exports are projected at 59.0 million cwt, a 3.0-million drop from 2011/12 and the lowest since 1993/94. Latin America, the largest market for U.S. longgrain rice, is expected to account for much of the decline. Medium- and short-grain exports are projected at 30.0 million cwt, a decline of 5.0 million from the year-earlier near-record. Some of the projected decline is based on weaker shipments to Northeast Asia due to the timing of the region’s annual WTO imports, with U.S. shipments to the region abnormally high in 2011/12.

U.S. ending stocks of all-rice in 2012/13 are projected at 27.0 million cwt, down 7.0 million cwt from a year earlier and the smallest since 2003/04. The stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 12.7 percent, down from 15.4 percent in 2011/12. By class, the 2012/13 U.S. long-grain carryout is projected at 16.6 million cwt, down 3.5 million cwt from last year and the smallest since 2003/04. The long-grain stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 11.0 percent, down from 13.4 percent in 2011/12 and the smallest since 2003/04. The medium/short-grain carryout is projected at 7.7 million cwt, down 3.5 million cwt from a year earlier and the smallest since 1998/99. The medium/short-grain stocks-to-use ratio is calculated at 12.5 percent, down from 16.0 percent in 2011/12 and the lowest since at least 1982/83 when USDA first began reporting supply and use estimates by class.

U.S. 2011/12 Export Forecast
Raised to 97.0 Million Cwt

There were no revisions to the supply side of the 2011/12 balance sheet. On the use side, total exports were raised 5.0 million cwt to 97.0 million cwt, still 13 percent below a year earlier. The substantial revision is largely due to stronger than expected shipments and sales through late April and expectations regarding shipments the remainder of the market year. Rough-rice exports were raised 3.0 million cwt to 35.0 million cwt, with South and Central America accounting for much of the upward revision. Milled rice exports were raised 2.0 million cwt to 62.0 million cwt, with Northeast Asia accounting for much of the upward revision—a result of the timing of the region’s annual WTO imports.

Long-grain exports were raised 4.0 million cwt to 62.0 million cwt. Sales have been especially strong over the past month to South America, Central America, and Mexico. Medium- and short-grain exports were raised 1.0 million cwt to a near-record 35.0 million cwt. Strong sales to Middle Eastern markets and larger than normal buying from Northeast Asia are behind the upward revision.

Total domestic and residual use forecast remains unchanged at 123.0 million cwt. The stronger export forecasts lowered the 2011/12 export forecast 5.0 million cwt to 34.0 million cwt. By class, long-grain stocks were lowered 4.0 million cwt to 20.1 million cwt and medium- and short-grain endings were raised 1.0 million cwt to 11.2 million cwt.

U.S. Rough-Rice Prices
Projected To Be Higher in 2012/13

The 2012/13 season-average farm price (SAFP) for U.S. long-grain rice is projected at $14.50-$15.50 per cwt, up from a revised $13.20-$13.60 per cwt a year earlier. The mid-point of the 2012/13 long-grain SAFP would be the highest on record. The 2011/12 SAFP projection was raised 10 cents on both the high and low ends from last month’s forecast based on reported cash prices through March and expectations regarding prices the remainder of the market year.

The combined medium- and short-grain 2012/13 U.S. SAFP is projected at $17.25- $18.25 per cwt, compared with $15.50-$15.90 a year earlier. Despite the expected increase, the medium- and short-grain 2012/13 SAFP is well below the 2008/09 record. The higher expected prices for both classes of rice are largely due to much tighter U.S. supplies.

In late April, NASS reported a mid-April U.S. long-grain rough-rice price of $13.30 per cwt, up 30 cents from the revised March estimate. The March price was lowered 20 cents from the mid-month estimate to $13.00. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, the mid-April NASS price was reported at $15.90 per cwt, up 90 cents from the revised March price. The March medium- and short-grain rough-rice cash price estimated was lowered $1.00 to $15.00 per cwt.

International Rice Market

Global Rice Production Projected
To Reach Another Record in 2012/13

Global rice production for 2012/13 is forecast at a record 466.4 million tons (milled basis), an increase of less than 1 percent from a year earlier. The bumper crop is the result of expanded area. At 159.8 million hectares, global rice area is up 0.9 million hectares from a year earlier and the highest on record. Southeast Asia and SubSaharan Africa account for most of the expansion in global rice area in 2012/13. The average yield of 4.35 tons per hectare is unchanged from the year-earlier record.

Among the Asian global rice exporters, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam are projected to harvest record crops in 2013/12, while production is expected to be a nearrecord in India and Pakistan in 2012/13. Of the top five exporters—which typically account for more than 80 percent of global shipments—only the United States is expected to harvest a small crop in 2012/13. Thus, global exportable supplies are expected to be plentiful.

China, the world’s largest rice-producing country, is projected to produce a record 141.0 million tons of rice in 2012/13, up fractionally from a year earlier, a result of expanded area. At 30.15 million hectares, China’s rice area is the highest since 1999/2000. India’s production is projected at a near-record 102.5 million cwt, down 1 percent from a year earlier, with both area and yield forecast to be slightly smaller in 2012/13. In nearby Pakistan, production is projected at a near-record 6.8 million tons, up almost 5 percent from a year earlier, a result of both area expansion and a higher yield.

Vietnam is projected to harvest a record 26.5-million ton crop in 2012/13, fractionally above a year earlier, a result of a slightly higher yield. Thailand is projected to harvest a record 21.05 million tons of rice, up 3 percent from a year earlier, a result of both record area and a record yield. For the United States, production is expected to decline 1 percent to 5.83 million tons, the result of a big drop in area. The crop (on a milled basis) is the smallest since 1988/99.

The remaining Asian net-exporting countries are projected to harvest larger crops in 2012/13. Burma’s production is projected at 11.0 million tons, nearly 2 percent above a year earlier, a result of a record yield. Burma’s area remains below levels reached prior to 2011/12 largely due to more favorable returns from alternative crops. Cambodia’s record production is forecast at a record 4.5 million tons, up 5 percent from a year earlier, mostly due to expanded area. Please note that this month USDA revised Cambodia’s production downward from 2005/06-2011/12 to more accurately reflect trade, use, and stocks estimates. The current production estimates for Cambodia no longer match official government estimates. USDA also revised Laos’ production estimates—from 1999/2000-2011/12—to better account for use and ending stocks estimates.

Among the non-Asian exporters, both Brazil and Australia are projected to harvest larger crops in 2012/13. Brazil’s production is projected to increase almost 2 percent to 11.0 million tons, mostly due to expanded area. In 2011/12, adverse weather was partially responsible for a 13-percent area decline in Brazil. Australia is projected to produce 720,000 tons of rice in 2012/13, almost 5 percent above a year earlier and the largest crop since 2001/02. The larger crop is the result of expanded area.

In contrast, Argentina is projected to harvest 910,000 tons of rice in 2012/13, down nearly 5 percent from a year earlier, a result of smaller area. In nearby Uruguay, production is projected to drop 5 percent to 896,000 tons, also due to reduced area. For both Southern Cone exporters, higher returns for competing crops account for the expected area decline. Finally, Egypt is projected to harvest 3.8 million tons of rice in 2012/13, a drop of nearly 11 percent from a year earlier, also due to an area decline. The Government of Egypt wants to limit rice area to conserve water.

The top Asian rice importers are projected to harvest record crops in 2012/13. Indonesia—the third largest rice producing country—is projected to harvest 36.9 million tons of rice in 2012/13, a result of both expanded area and a higher yield. Bangladesh’s production on 34.1 million tons of rice is unchanged from the year earlier record, with both area and yield the highest on record. The Philippines are projected to increase production 1.5 percent to 10.8 million tons, a result of record plantings. Malaysia’s production of 1.7 million tons is up fractionally from a year earlier due to a small area expansion.

Among major non-Asian importers, Nigeria is projected to produce a record 2.85 million tons of rice, more than 5 percent above a year earlier, largely due to expanded area. Iran is projected to produce 1.55 million tons of rice in 2012/13, unchanged from a year earlier, but 12 percent below the 2007/08 record. Iraq’s production is projected to remain at just 117,000 tons, well below levels achieved before 1990/91. Iraq imports most of its import needs. Production in the EU-27 is projected to decline more than 3 percent to 1.9 million tons, a result of smaller area. Like Brazil, China, and the United States the EU-27 is both an exporter and importer of rice.

Global production for 2011/12 is projected at 463.3 million tons, down 0.6 million from last month’s forecast but still 3 percent above a year earlier and the largest to date. The largest decrease was for Cambodia, whose production estimate was lowered 1.1 million tons to 4.3 million based on a revised production series for 2005/06-2011/12. Laos’ 2011/12 production estimate was lowered 500,000 tons to 1.44 million tons, also based on a revised production series, going back to 1999/2000. The largest upward revision was for India whose crop was revised up 650,000 tons to a record 103.4 million tons based on Ministry of Agriculture data indicating a record yield. In addition, Sri Lanka’s 2011/12 production was raised 0.4 million tons to a record 3.3 tons based on a larger area estimate provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.

In addition to these revisions for producers in Asia, this month USDA made several 2011/12 production revisions in Sub-Saharan Africa, largely based on information provided by U.S. Agricultural Counselors in various Posts in the region. On balance, the upward revisions were nearly offset by reductions. The largest 2011/12 increases were made for Tanzania and Sierra Leone. The largest reductions were made for Mali and Senegal.

Global disappearance for 2012/13 is projected at 465.7 million tons, up almost 2 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam account for most of the expected increase in domestic use. Disappearance is expected to continue to decline in Japan and is projected nearly stable in South Korea and the United States. By region, East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia account for the bulk of the expected increase in disappearance in 2012/13.

Global ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 104.9 million tons, up 0.7 million tons from a year earlier and largest since 2001/02. This is the sixth consecutive year of rising global stocks. Thailand’s stocks are projected to increase 29 percent to a record 12.1 million tons, largely due to government policy. Stocks are projected to be slightly higher in 2012/13 in China and India, but to decline in Bangladesh. The global stocksto-use ratio for 2012/13 is calculated at 22.5 percent, virtually unchanged from a year earlier.

Global Rice Trade Projected
To Increase to 35.2 Million Tons in 2013

Global calendar year 2013 trade is forecast at 35.2 million tons, an increase of 3 percent from a year earlier and second only to the 2011 record of 35.9 million tons. On the export side, substantial increases by Burma, Cambodia, China, Pakistan, and Thailand are projected to more than offset lower shipments from Argentina, India, and the United States.

In 2013, Thailand is projected to return as the largest exporter, shipping 8.0 million tons, up 23 percent from a year earlier, but still well below the 2011 record of 10.65 million tons. Thailand’s current policy makes its exports uncompetitive in many markets, leading to a substantial accumulation of government-held stocks. Vietnam’s exports are forecast to remain unchanged from this year’s record of 7.0 million tons, as Vietnam has picked up some of Thailand’s markets. India is projected to export 6.0 million tons of rice in 2013, down from a record 7.0 million in 2012. Despite a record 2011/12 crop and large carryout, food security concerns limit India’s exports.

Pakistan is projected to export a record 4.0 million tons in 2013, up almost 7 percent from a year earlier, a result of large supplies, competitive prices, and expanded global trade. The United States is projected to export 3.0 million tons of rice in 2013, down 9 percent from a year earlier. The substantial decline is based on much smaller supplies and a wider price difference over major Asian competitors. These are the smallest U.S. exports (converted to a milled basis) since 2001. These five countries account for about 80 percent of global rice trade and are the largest shippers by a substantial margin.

Among the mid-level exporters, Cambodia is projected to export a record 950,000 tons of rice in 2013, up 19 percent from the year-earlier revised level. The increase is primarily due to large supplies and expanded global trade. Burma is projected to boost exports 25 percent to 750,000 tons, still below 2011 trade and well below record levels shipped prior to World War II.

Outside Asia, Egypt’s exports are projected to be unchanged from this year’s 600,000 tons, as area restrictions continue to prevent Egypt’s export from returning to the record levels achieved prior to 2009. In South America, Brazil is projected to export 900,000 tons of rice in 2013, up 9 percent from a year earlier, making Brazil a net exporter in 2013. The increase is based on larger supplies. In contrast, Argentina is projected to reduce exports 14 percent to 560,000 tons, mostly due to smaller supplies. Despite a smaller crop, Uruguay’s 2013 exports are projected to be unchanged from this year’s 850,000 tons. Both Argentina and Uruguay export the bulk of their rice crop. Australia’s exports are projected to increase 11 percent to 500,000 tons in 2013, the highest since 2001 and the result of larger supplies.

On the import side, most major Asia importers are projected to import less rice in 2013. Indonesia is projected to import 1.44 million tons of rice, down 28 percent from a year earlier, the result of large supplies. Malaysia is projected to import 1.05 million tons of rice in 2013, down 3 percent from a year earlier, the result of a record crop. Bangladesh’s imports are projected to decline almost 8 percent to 600,000 tons, also due to a record crop. Imports by the Philippines are projected at 1.5 million tons, unchanged from this year, largely due to a larger crop.

Outside Asia, Nigeria’s imports are forecast at 2.25 million tons, down 8 percent from a year earlier, a result of a record crop. In contrast, South Africa’s imports are projected to increase 33 percent to a record 1.0 million tons, a result of strong consumption growth. South Africa does not produce rice. In the Middle East, Iran is projected to import a near-record 1.6 million tons of rice in 2013, up 3 percent from a year earlier, despite a larger crop. Iraq’s imports are projected to be unchanged from this year’s near-record 1.2 million tons. Saudi Arabia is projected to import 1.18 million tons of rice in 2013, up 2 percent from a year earlier. Like South Africa, Saudi Arabia does not grow rice.

Thailand’s Trading Prices Increase
On Stronger Demand

Prices for most grades of Thailand’s parboiled and white rice have risen over the past month due to inquiries from buyers for large shipments to Nigeria before July when import tariffs rise. Exportable supplies are also tight due to large government purchases. Prices for Thailand's high-quality, 100-percent Grade B (fob vessel, Bangkok) milled rice for export were quoted at $603 per ton for the week ending May 8, up $49 from the week ending April 10. Prices for Thailand’s 5-percent brokens were quoted at $613 per ton for the week ending May 8, up $31 from the week ending April 10. These are the highest prices since early December.

Prices for Thailand's 5-percent parboiled rice—a specialty rice—were quoted at $618 per ton for the week ending May 8, up $31 from the week ending April 10. Prices for Thailand’s brokens have increased over the past month as well. For the week ending May 8, prices for Thailand’s A-1 Super 100-percent brokens were quoted at $555 per ton, up $30 from the week ending April 10. In contrast, price quotes for Thailand’s premium jasmine rice were quoted at $1,026 per ton for the week ending May 8, down $37 from April 10. All price quotes for Thailand’s rice are from the Weekly Rice Price Update, reported by the U.S. Agricultural Counselor in Bangkok.

In contrast, price quotes from Vietnam declined slightly over the past month, as business has softened slightly. For the week ending May 8, prices for Vietnam’s 5- percent double-water-polished with 5-percent brokens were quoted at $435 per ton— down $5 per ton from the week ending April 10. Thailand’s price quotes for 5 percent brokens are currently $149 per ton above quotes for Vietnam’s 5-percent double-waterpolished milled rice, compared with a difference of $103 last month.

U.S. long-grain milled-rice prices have increased from a month earlier, largely a response to expectations of a much smaller crop in 2012/13 based on the March 30 intended plantings estimates. For the week ending May 1, prices for high-quality Southern long-grain rice (No. 2, 4-percent brokens, bagged, free alongside vessel, U.S. Gulf port) were quoted at $524 per ton, up $22 from April 10. U.S. long-grain milled-rice traders faces strong price competition in the global market. U.S. long-grain rough-rice (bulk, fob vessel, New Orleans) was quoted at $335 per ton for the week ending May 1, up $20 from the week ending April 1. In contrast to U.S. milled exports, sales of longgrain rough-rice have been strong in recent weeks, primarily to Latin America.

Prices for California rice for the domestic and export markets have remained unchanged over the past month. California’s package-quality medium-grain rice (sacked) for domestic sales remains quoted at $772 per ton for the week ending May 1. Export prices (for 30-kg bags, fob vessel) for California milled rice were quoted at $685 per ton for the week ending May 1, also unchanged from the week ending April 10. Exports of California rice have been at near-record pace this year, despite greater competition from Australia and Egypt in several medium- and short-grain markets. 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 2012

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