Dossett on Rice: Indian Spot Price on the Move; FDA Flood Rule Stalls Texas Harvest

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Cash Markets

  • Indian spot rice prices are moving up. They are back close to the high of the year. The Indian government decided to stop exporting to Bangladesh from September 15 to November 30. They cited the recent floods in India as the reason. Apparently they do not want food crisis due to shortage. Thailand prices are recovering after a two month slide. Thai 5% rice is quoted at $400/ton after sliding down to $386 on August 30.
  • In U.S. markets, Arkansas looks to be at 60% harvested and we are hearing great yields and great milling yields. Around Dewitt they are 90% harvested, but Stuttgart is behind at 30%. Recent prices were $5.60 a bushel. The Pocahontas area is only 10% harvested. Bids are between $5.60 -$5.50/bushel.
  • Texas has got big problems with FDA rule that any rice that was totally submerged cannot be put into food chain. This has held up the harvest from Houston to Beaumont where the worst flooding occurred.
  • Mississippi Delta looks about 75% harvested, and we hear prices of $5.50/bushel.

Futures Market

  • There are 1,980 rice receipts in deliverable warehouses. We are continuing to see a lot of movement in one of the McGehee, Arkansas warehouses. McGehee being the southernmost and closest warehouse to the river usually means shipment to New Orleans for export. As of Friday, there have been 1,609 deliveries versus the September contract. Export sales report was disappointing this week with only 25,000 tons of new sales.
  • Futures prices are rock solid with November futures climbing about $13.00 CWT a couple of times. We seem to have found steady support at the $12.75 level.
  • I still think there will be a correction during harvest, but long term we can still move higher if India restricts sales and there are further interruptions in U.S. harvest. There are 2 more hurricanes brewing in the eastern Atlantic. A great site to follow “tropical weather” is Hurricane Watch Net at www.hwn.org.

Futures trading is risky and not suitable for all customers.

Markham B. Dossett was a Charter member of the New Orleans Commodity Exchange. He has traded rice since early 1981. He owns Talon Asset Management LLC where he hedges rice, soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton and cattle for producers in the South and Southwest.

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