As the holiday season approaches, the rice market is beginning to slow down as well with very little movement in most major market sectors.
In the export sales component, total sales volume was improved over the previous report. Current levels, and total marketing year sales, indicate that current demand remains at healthy levels and is at the current pace set to meet expectations. As exports are a major component of the demand side of the equation, the current trend reinforces the notion that ending stocks may be tighter than was previously expected.
Vessel loadings have progressed against old sales well over the week as well. The significant numbers posted in the current report show the continued flow of old business continues apace. A strong showing in both rough and milled rice movement is an indicator that the overall health of the rice industry is strong.
In the international scene, Asian pricing demonstrated almost no change from previous values. Benchmark currency exchange rates were virtually unchanged also. This combination of factors suggests that the market is going dormant before the year end holidays.
The domestic market reflects this trend. There was some very minor price appreciation in parts of the South that reflect some small quantities being traded but those lots are few and far between. Most growers have turned their attention to other matters until the advent of the new year and large scale cash sales are highly unlikely until that time. With a general lack of business, significant price moves, in either direction, are unlikely as well.
The USDA seems to share this sentiment in its weekly world market price report in which there was no change in value.
The futures market has seen some year end trading over the week. After the trading of the past few weeks where the Bulls were generally in control, the Bears took over this week and brought some selling pressure to the trading floor. All of the new crop contracts posted losses over the week, while the 2018/19 crop contracts ended at a net zero.
Some trading is to be expected over the next week or two, especially considering next week’s WASDE report, but overall volume is likely to be muted.
Next Tuesday will mark the last Supply & Demand report of the calendar year and will also represent the last major influx of information before the new year. No major surprises are expected in this report however, as always, revisions can be expected.
As the market settles down for the year very little activity is expected prior to 2018. Hopefully, any market moves remain bullish ones.