Rice: Texas Wrapping it Up; Planters Still Going in Louisiana, the Delta Region
With about 250,000 cwts of old crop long grain still in first hands, Texas’ new crop rice is practically completely in the ground and needing some rain. As a matter of fact, we hear all the crops in these parts would welcome some rain right about now.
The last chunks of old crop that sold brought premiums of $9.25 to $9.50 per cwt over loan. It’s still quite a space from now to the middle of August when the first new rice will be dry enough to mill, so this last 250,000 cwts should go at a decent premium.
The newly planted rice is growing, but the persistent cold nights are making progress a tougher battle. There has been a contract in Texas for the last few weeks, variety specific, at a $7.00 per cwt premium with 100% of the average ups in the market between harvest and December 31st. We don’t know of any booking just yet.
Reports out of south Louisiana just get better and better, with the rice growing well and looking good. The feeling is that some few days lost at planting might be made up by the good growing conditions, but all agree that harvest will still be a little later than usual.
Odd lots of old crop may still be in first hands, but we are told that it’s all virtually sold. Any remaining unsold can still get $25.00 per bbl fob farm. New crop medium grain is estimated to control something between 60,000 to 100,000 acres of rice production, and much of that comes at the expense of long grain acres for the most part.
Total rice acres are expected to be up slightly this year, although not much changed from last year. Planting is said to be close to completion, but we are hearing of some crawfish ponds being drained and planted in rice.
New crop medium grain continues to be bid at $25.00 per bbl fob farm, and we are told that new crop long grain is now seeing bids at $23.65 per cwt delivered Mermentau for very early shipment and maybe as high as $23.50 per cwt fob farm in some cases. We know of no booking at either level and are told that growers want a bare minimum of $24.00 per bbl at the farm.
This region is managing to get planted, but the acres look like they will be fewer than had been hoped for just 4 or 5 weeks ago.
Estimates now call for 170,000 acres max, just a 50,000 pickup over last year. New crop rice bids are being noted at $6.20 per bu delivered and/or maybe a basis of around 75 cents under the Sep futures; neither of those is solidly competitive against soybean and corn prices of late.
Corn acres that did not get planted seem to be going fairly heavily to soybeans instead of rice. There is some small amount of old crop that can be bought, with buyers now interested at $16.20 per cwt delivered barge loading point and $16.25 or perhaps better delivered mill. Arkansas reports some dry weather early in the week has allowed a good bit of planting, but it’s still on the late side – particularly with cool nights. We hear that corn and soybeans have made a dent in rice acres here, too. And we have heard as much as 150,000 rice acres may go in as medium grain this year.
New crop bids are called $6.20 per bu picked up at the farm for long grain and $6.50 per bu for medium grain. Old crop has been reported bid at $7.10 per bu to $7.35 per bu at the farm, depending on how close the mill may be to the seller. Missouri reports things finally drying out enough, especially on the higher ground, to get a lot of planting done. There are no new crop bids that we have heard.
I recently attended a Farm Credit Director Development program in Charleston, South Carolina, where Dave Kohl presented an agricultural economic update. I thought his presentation was exceptional. He described agricultural