The export sales report was reported at just under 30,000 MT which is a slight drop from last week’s volume. While stronger export numbers would be beneficial it is unlikely that they will materialize before September. It is still possible that some traditional business will hit the market and bring the overall tonnage up temporarily. As tight as the old crop market is for now, any unexpected sales would jolt the markets higher to new levels.
Vessel loadings were very light this week as well with only 11,000 MT reported. Without any significant sales, the shipping numbers will stay low as well. For the next several months, the export numbers will probably take a back seat as an indicator of market direction, at least until some worthwhile volumes can be moved.
Asian pricing was generally unchanged from the previous report although some minor adjustments to the benchmark origins was noted. The majority of these changes were a result of regional supply and demand shifts in addition to exchange rate fluctuations.
The weekly world market price estimate was raised since the last report. The underlying firmness in the marketplace appears to be strong from this and other indicators. The futures market has had a rough week with the open contracts posting notable daily losses for each day except Friday. Friday’s trading was not nearly enough to erase four days of losses however leaving the market net negative as compared to last week’s values.
In the local cash markets, parts of the Gulf Coast have received some much needed rain this week which have bought some additional time and helped with some water related cost savings for the growing season. The rice is a bit later than would normally be expected in the region but on balance looks to be in good shape. In the Delta and along the river, farmers are looking to take advantage of weather opportunities to get spraying and other fieldwork done. Rice plantings in those regions are generally complete and the crop condition is considered to be good but not excellent. A later harvest is expected in those areas as well. Cash pricing for new crop appears to be firmly entrenched at current levels with growers not particularly interested for now.
The discrepancy between the futures market and the cash market is worth noting as the cash market has yet to give any ground. It has also shown no real sign of following the futures market either, with the exception of those basis bids which will have to narrow (or go positive) to become even somewhat attractive to growers.