Rice Update: Iraqi Tender Weighs on Market as Spring Planting Begins
USDA reduced its weekly world market price estimate by $0.18/hundredweight for both long and medium/short grain values respectively. Currently, the on-farm WMP value of long grain rough reported at $9.22/hundredweight and the medium/short grain rough values at $9.30/hundredweight.
The market this week took a general downturn, which given the general lack of new news and business is not entirely surprising. Exports were off significantly this week, back to around the 55,000 MT level while vessel loadings were increased as volume moves against old sales. Asian pricing was mixed, with both positive and negative minor changes in price since the last report. USDA did reduce its world market price estimate this week, a somewhat predictable event given the global situation.
The cash market is extremely quiet with almost no changes reported and available volume becoming extremely thin. Finally, the futures market experienced a meltdown over the week and shed significant value from the performance seen in weeks past.
The futures market this week saw a general meltdown as the gains posted over the past few weeks was notably challenged by this week’s action. The market saw the nearby March ’16 contract open on Monday at $11.02/hundredweight before shedding around $0.40/hundredweight by Wednesday’s close. Thursday’s trading saw the bulls try to regain some lost ground but by Friday’s close, the bears had successfully dominated the week’s trading. Friday’s market close put the nearby contract at $10.39/hundredweight.
Overall, the market losses ranged from 4.58% to 6.06% for all open contracts on the board. The average daily volume for the week was 3,821.8 contracts on an open interest of 12,510 contracts as of Thursday’s close.
The domestic cash market has remained all but unchanged since the last report.
In Texas, the market remained firm at the $5.00/hundredweight premiums over loan for both hybrid and conventional varieties. Some lower milling lots are also being bid at the $4.50-$4.85/hundredweight level although there is only limited selling interest at these prices.
Pricing in Louisiana has remained firm at the $11.42/hundredweight level. Old crop continues to leave the first hands and is well on the way to being exhausted.
Bids in Mississippi have held constant as well. Current old crop bids are at the $11.00/hundredweight range, delivered barge.
In Arkansas, no price changes have been reported from last week’s report. Prices are currently being quoted at the $10.33/hundredweight fob farm level.
Missouri old crop values have been constant as well. Bidding remains at around the $11.22/hundredweight level. As the domestic stocks become increasingly tight, the market has less and less to work with and stimulate price moves in either direction.
Export sales were down by 38% from last week’s 90,600 MT, at a reported total of 55,800 MT for the week. Sales to Japan (15,400 MT), Haiti (11,500 MT), Mexico (8,300 MT), and Canada (4,000 MT), were partially offset by reductions for Belgium (200 MT). Sales were comprised primarily of long grain rice, with the Japanese and Belgian shipments being medium/short grain.
Vessel loadings increased by 80% from the prior weeks’ volume to a total of 68,500MT. Primary destinations were Costa Rica (22,700 MT), Mexico (18,000 MT), Haiti (14,000 MT), Canada (4,200 MT), and South Korea (2,800 MT). Loadings were composed of long grain rice with the exception of the Korean shipment which was medium/short grain.
Pricing in Asia were predominately sideways to lower over the past week, with minor adjustments to both the up and downside being the underlying trend. Myanmar 5% ($425/MT), Myanmar 5% parboiled ($462/MT), and Vietnamese 5% ($355/MT) each saw some positive appreciation since the last report. Meanwhile, Thai 100% parboiled ($369/MT), Thai 100%B ($372/MT), and Pakistani 5% ($340/MT) each experienced negative price adjustments. All prices are quoted in US Dollars and are f.o.b. vessel.
The bulls were again winners in an exciting week for longs and producers. In last week’s report, I said the markets bias would be near unchanged to a bit lower.