Rice Market Update: Prices Edge Up as Focus Turns to Planting Intentions

New is sparse in the rice world but market continues to slowly grind upwards. This week’s export sales report had a significant increase over last week’s reported volume but the current levels remain low.  

  • In light of the large purchases from overseas buyers in the past few weeks, the current 40,700 MT value is not terrible so long as it increases back into the 70,000-80,000 MT range as soon as possible.
  • The vessel loadings were somewhat lighter than could be expected given the large sold inventory currently on the books, but remains at a respectable level.
  • Asian pricing continues to appreciate, with moderate gains in most of the benchmark origins since the last report. This continued price appreciation will definitely help keep U.S. origin rice at a more competitive level in the global marketplace.
  • The weekly world market price estimate has also gained ground for the second week in a row. This marks a distinct uptrend in global pricing which provides some additional basis for the market firmness that is currently being experienced.
  • The futures market has followed suit with the remaining indicators with continued appreciation as well. All open contracts on the futures board traded in the black over last week’s values, with some contracts exceeding 3% in net gains. It would seem that the reversal indicated in previous reports has materialized, the question now being how high it will go and how long it will take to get there.
  • For growers in the U.S., the stage is set for a very positive year. This is particularly true for those growers who still have unsold inventory from the 2017 crop. The hope is that the price will appreciate faster than storage costs accumulate. With national inventories being consumed rapidly, this is a very possible scenario.
  • For new crop, the die is not yet cast and the trade is eyeing the planting intentions at this point. The futures market will aggressively try to buy acres as planting time approaches but growers should not pass up on any cash positive marketing opportunities during this time.

The Rice Advocate

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