Rice Outlook: India Projected To Export Record 12.5 Mln Tons in 2018

There were no supply or use revisions to the 2017/18 U.S. rice balance sheet this month. Production remains estimated at 178.2 million cwt, 20.5 percent below a year earlier. Imports remain projected at a record 24.9 million cwt. Carryin of 46.0 million cwt is nearly unchanged from a year earlier. Total U.S. rice supplies are projected to contract 15 percent in 2017/18. Both domestic use and exports are projected to be lower in 2017/18, largely due to smaller supplies and higher prices.

Despite smaller total use, U.S. ending stocks in 2017/18 are projected to decline 37 percent to 29.2 million cwt. The 2017/18 season-average price range for U.S. long-grain and southern medium- and short-grain rice was lowered slightly this month.

Domestic Outlook

U.S. Total Rice Supplies Projected To Drop 15 percent in 2017/18

There were no revisions this month to the 2017/18 U.S. rice balance sheet. The 2017/18 U.S. rice crop remains estimated at 178.2 million cwt, more than 20 percent below a year earlier. The substantial year-to-year production decline is the result of a 23-percent decrease in harvested area to 2.37 million acres, the smallest since 1987/88. The area reduction is partially offset by a 4-percent increase in yield to 7,507 pounds per acre, still below the 2013/14 record of 7,694 pounds.

Beginning stocks remain estimated at 46.0 million cwt, down 1 percent from a year earlier. U.S. rice imports remain forecast at 24.9 million cwt, up 6 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. Thailand and India account for most the stronger pace of U.S. rice imports in 2017/18, with Thailand accounting for more than 60 percent of these imports. Total U.S. rice supplies remain projected at 249.2 million cwt, 15 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 2003/04.

Total use of U.S. rice in 2017/18 remains forecast at 220.0 million cwt, 11 percent below a year earlier. In 2017/18, both exports and domestic use are limited by much smaller supplies. Total domestic and residual use in 2017/18 remains projected at 120.0 million cwt, 9 percent below a year earlier.

Some of the year-to-year decline in domestic use is likely due to a smaller residual associated with a smaller crop. The residual accounts for post-harvest losses in transporting, milling, and marketing the rice, as well as any statistical error in another account.

Total U.S. rice exports in 2017/18 remain projected at 100.0 million cwt, 14 percent below a year earlier. By class, 2017/18 long-grain exports remain forecast at 71.0 million cwt, 10 percent below a year earlier. The Western Hemisphere is the largest market for U.S. long-grain rice, with the majority of the rice shipped as unmilled rough-rice.

Mexico, Central America, Haiti, Venezuela, Canada, and Colombia account for the bulk of the U.S. long-grain exports in the Western Hemisphere. Outside the Western Hemisphere, the Middle East is currently the largest market for U.S. long-grain rice. Combined U.S. medium- and short-grain exports in 2017/18 remain projected at 29.0 million cwt, 24 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 2014/15 when a West Coast port strike delayed shipments until early in the 2015/16 market year.

The current medium- and short-grain export forecast indicates few sales outside the core Northeast Asian markets and Canada.

By type, rough-rice exports remain projected at 34.0 million cwt, 20 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 2011/12. Through late January, there have been virtually no U.S. rough-rice sales to the Middle East. These two regions take exclusively medium- and short-grain rough-rice. U.S. rough-rice sales to top long-grain buyer Venezuela have been well below a year earlier as well.

Milled rice exports (combined milled and brown rice exports on a rough-rice basis) remain projected at 66.0 million cwt, 11 percent below a year earlier. Haiti, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iraq are the top markets for U.S. milled rice.

U.S. ending stocks in 2017/18 remain forecast at 29.2 million cwt, 37 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 2003/04. The stocks-to-use ratio remains estimated at 13.3 percent, well below 18.6 percent a year earlier. Long-grain 2017/18 ending stocks remain forecast at 16.4 million cwt, 47 percent below a year earlier.

The long-grain stocks-to-use ration of 10.0 percent is well below 17.4 percent a year earlier. The long-grain stocks-to-use-ratio rarely drops below 10 percent. Medium- and short-grain ending stocks remain forecast at 9.3 million cwt, 19 percent below a year earlier and the lowest since 2008/09.

The medium- and short-grain 2017/18 stocks-to-use ratio of 16.6 percent is little changed from a year earlier.

U.S. 2017/18 Season-Average Long-grain Farm Price Lowered

Monthly prices and marketings for 2016/17 and for August-November 2017 were revised this month. These revisions resulted in updated 2016/17 SAFP forecasts for U.S. long-grain, California medium- and short-grain, and U.S. medium- and short-grain.

For 2017/18, USDA lowered its SAFP this month for both long-grain rice and southern medium- and short-grain rice. The revisions were largely based on reported NASS prices and marketings through December and expectations for prices and marketings the remainder of the 2017/18 market year.

The 2017/18 U.S. long-grain SAFP range was lowered 20 cents on the high end to $11.30 to $12.10 per cwt, up from a revised $9.61 a year earlier. The mid-point of $11.70 per cwt is down 10 cents from a month earlier. The southern medium- and short-grain SAFP range was also lowered 20 cents on the high end to $11.50 to $12.30 per cwt, up from $10.10 a year earlier.

The California 2017/18 medium- and short-grain SAFP remains forecast at $15.50 to $16.50 per cwt, up from a revised $14.10 a year earlier.

The U.S. medium- and short grain SAFP was tightened 10 cents on both ends of the forecast range to $14.60 to $15.40 per cwt, well above a revised $13.10 a year earlier. The U.S. 2017/18 all-rice SAFP was lowered 20 cents on the high end of the forecast range to $12.10 to $12.90 per cwt, well above $10.40 a year earlier.

In late January, USDA reported a long-grain monthly average cash price for December of $11.60 per cwt, up 20 cents from the revised November price. The California December medium- and short-grain cash price was reported at $15.20 per cwt, down $1.30 from the revised November price. The December southern medium- and short-grain price was reported at $11.80 per cwt, up 20 cents from the revised November.

The December U.S. medium- and short-grain price was reported at $14.20 per cwt, down $1.30 from the revised November price. The all-rice December price was reported at $12.30 per cwt, down 50 cents from the revised November price.

Full report.

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