Rice Update: Quiet Market Needs Bullish News
USDA’s world market price estimate has remained unchanged since the last report. 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 rice market has remained quiet over the week with notable changes being seen only in the export and futures market sectors of the market. Export sales were up significantly over the week, which is a welcomed event given the history of export sales during the current calendar year. Vessel loadings were off somewhat but will pick up in the coming weeks as the sellers ship against the new commitments. Asian prices were sideways with some soft undertones but overall remains stable.
The cash market has exhibited similar tendencies to the downside but with stronger resistance from sellers, the market has not moved significantly. The futures market has had another rough week as the market continues to shed value although the latter part of the weeks’ trading did provide some respite from the constant downward pressure. Overall, it has been a typically quiet week in the rice industry.
It has been yet another difficult week in the futures market as the downward pressure from the previous week’s trading has persisted and moved pricing continuously lower. As the nearby March ’16 contract prepares to exit the board, the contract opened the week at $10.39/hundredweight on Monday. Throughout the day, the market rallied to set the weekly high before falling through Wednesday’s close at $10.24/hundredweight.
Thursday’s action moved the market up by $0.02, while Friday saw another half cent gain by the close to end the week with net losses. The overall losses for the week ranged from 1.22% to 1.98% across all open contracts on an average daily volume of 658.4 contracts. The open interest was 11,858 for all contracts as of Thursday’s trading.
In the domestic cash market, there have been no notable changes in the past week.
The Texas market has remained firm with bids at the $5.00/hundredweight premiums over loan for both hybrid and conventional varieties with poorer quality lots being bid at the $4.50-$4.85/hundredweight level. Selling interest remains thin at these prices. Favorable weather has put producers in the field, and planting is well under way for new crop. Bids in Louisiana have remained at the $11.42/hundredweight level with limited trades being made.
Much like Texas, Louisiana growers have turned their attention to new crop as well with planting underway in that state also.
The market in Mississippi has backed off somewhat, with the current bid for old crop now reported at the $10.80/hundredweight range, delivered barge.
Prices in Arkansas have mirrored the movements in Mississippi with some softening in the market since last week. Currently, prices are being quoted at the $10.00/hundredweight fob farm level.
Old crop values in Missouri have also slid somewhat with current bids at around the $10.78/hundredweight level. With very few positive factors to support the market, the resulting softer undertones are not entirely surprising.
Export sales saw a positive rise over the week with a 64% increase over last week’s 55,800 MT, marking down a total of 91,200 MT for the week. Increases were reported for Venezuela (30,000 MT), Colombia (26,000 MT), Japan (12,100 MT), Costa Rica (10,600 MT), and El Salvador (2,300 MT). Sales were comprised primarily of long grain rice, with the Japanese shipment which consisted of medium/short grain.
Vessel loadings, conversely, decreased by 45% from the prior weeks’ volume to a total of 38,100 MT. Primary destinations included Haiti (13,000 MT), Costa Rica (5,200 MT), South Korea (5,100 MT), Mexico (3,700 MT), Jordan (3,200 MT), Taiwan (2,800 MT), and Canada (1,900 MT). Loadings were composed of long grain rice with the exception of the Korean, Jordanian, and Taiwanese shipments which was medium/short grain.
Asian pricing experienced another sideways week, with some minor adjustments in pricing at the type and geographically specific level. The two price boost for the week were seen in both Thai 100% parboiled ($371/MT) and Vietnamese 5% ($365/MT). The remaining origins of Myanmar 5% ($425/MT), Myanmar 5% parboiled ($462/MT), Thai 100%B ($372/MT), and Pakistani 5% ($340/MT) each remained unchanged in pricing since the previous report. 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.