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Rice Outlook: U.S. Season-Average Farm Price Forecasts Lowered for Both Classes

Ernst Undesser
From USDA December 15, 2017

Rice Outlook: U.S. Season-Average Farm Price Forecasts Lowered for Both Classes

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

There were no supply side revisions to the U.S. 2017/18 rice balance sheet this month. On the use side, the total U.S. 2017/18 export forecast was lowered 1.0 million cwt to 103.0 million cwt, with the reduction all in medium- and short-grain. Season-average farm price forecasts for 2017/18 were lowered for both classes of rice, partly based on lower than expected monthly cash prices through October reported by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Domestic Outlook

U.S. 2017/18 Rice Exports Lowered 1.0 Million Cwt to 103 Million Cwt

There were no supply side revisions to the U.S. 2017/18 rice balance sheet this month. Total U.S. rice supplies remain projected at 248.9 million cwt, 15 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 2003/04. The smaller supplies are primarily due to a 20-percent decline in production to 178.4 million cwt, the smallest U.S. rice crop since 1996/97.

Carryin was slightly smaller than a year earlier while record imports of 24.5 million are up more than 4 percent from a year earlier. Production and supply in 2017/18 of both classes of rice are projected smaller than in 2016/17.

On the use side, the total U.S. 2017/18 export forecast was lowered 1.0 million cwt to 103.0 million cwt, 12 percent below a year earlier. The downward revision was based on Census trade data through October, shipments and sales through November reported in the weekly U.S. Export Sales, and expectations regarding sales and shipments the remainder of the market year.

Medium- and short-grain accounted for all of the downward revision. At 29.0 million cwt, U.S. medium- and short-grain exports are 24 percent below a year earlier, with sales to the Mediterranean down sharply.

By type. U.S. rough-rice exports were lowered 2.0 million cwt to 36.0 million cwt, 15 percent below a year earlier. Through November 30, U.S. rough-rice sales and shipments were well behind a year earlier’s pace to South America and the Mediterranean. In contrast, the 2017/18 U.S. milled rice export forecast was raised 1.0 million cwt to 67.0 million cwt (combined milled- and brown-rice exports on a rough-rice basis), still 10 percent below a year earlier.

The increase was based on a stronger than expected pace of sales to Haiti and the recent large sale to Iraq, the first U.S. sale to Iraq since 2015/16. The weaker export forecast raised 2017/18 ending stocks 3 percent to 30.9 million cwt, still down 33 percent from a year earlier. The stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 14.2 percent, well below a year earlier’s 18.6 percent and near the long-term average.

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U.S. Season-Average Farm Price Forecasts Lowered for Both Classes of Rice

This month, USDA lowered its season-average farm prices (SAFP) for both classes of rice. Reductions were largely based on reported NASS prices through October and expectations regarding prices the remainder of the 2017/18 market year. The 2017/18 U.S. long-grain SAFP was lowered 20 cents on both ends of the forecast range to $11.60 to $12.60 per cwt, up from $9.64 a year earlier.

The southern medium- and short-grain price was also lowered 20 cents on both ends of the forecast range to $11.80 to $12.80 per cwt, up from $10.10 a year earlier. The California 2017/18 medium- and short-grain SAFP was lowered 50 cents on both ends of the forecast range to $15.00 to $16.00 per cwt, up from $13.70 a year earlier.

The U.S. medium- and short grain SAFP was lowered 40 cents on both ends of the forecast range to $14.20 to $15.20 per cwt, well above $12.90 a year earlier. The U.S. 2017/18 all-rice SAFP was lowered 20 cents on both ends of the forecast range to $12.30 to $13.30 per cwt, also well above $10.40 a year earlier.

In late November, USDA reported a long-grain monthly average cash price for October of $11.20 per cwt, unchanged from September. The California October medium- and short-grain cash price was reported at $13.60 per cwt, down 30 cents from September and the second consecutive month of decline.

The October southern medium- and short-grain price was reported at $11.50 per cwt, up 30 cents from September and the fifth consecutive increase. The October U.S. medium- and short-grain price was reported at $12.70 per cwt, down 40 cents from September. The all-rice October price was reported at $11.60 per cwt, unchanged from September.

Full report.

Ernst Undesser
From USDA December 15, 2017