Rice Market: Harvest Along Gulf Coast in Full Swing

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

With harvest looming, the rice industry has remained quiet over the week with no significant movement in any major market sector. As has been noted in previous reports, there is very little rice left to export at this point in time. Coupled with the various trade issues this would indicate a slower than average week. 

That is exactly what materialized within the current export sales report. The 6,200 MT that was sold since the previous report was only surpassed as the marketing year low by the 1,400 MT sales that occurred at the first of the year. That being said, sales should pick up into September as new crop is available and buyers are again looking to fill inventories.

The vessel tonnage was off as well, but for the same reasons hosts no surprise. All of the Asian benchmark origins shed value over the week by several dollars per ton. While the decrease was seen in all of the origins, it is likely a currency valuation issue that has had the greatest impact as opposed to market forces.

The USDA held its world market price estimate unchanged for the week, and unless some unforeseen factors come into play it is likely that a decrease will be reported in next week’s release.

With the harvest now in full swing, the South Louisiana Rail Facility confirmed new crop export sales of paddy rice from area farmers to Honduras and Mexico totaling 37,000 tons. The vessels will load at the Port of Lake Charles for shipments in first half and mid-September.

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Domestically, the cash markets remain quiet waiting on some firmer indications of quality and quantity from the new crop harvest. In Texas and Southwest Louisiana the harvest is getting underway with some of the earliest lots already being dried. Preliminary reports indicate that the quality is “good” with similar comments about yield.

The next ten days should provide enough information to better quantify these comments, but it appears that the new crop is off to a good start.

The futures market had a generally good week with all of the open contracts on the board closing with net gains since the previous Friday. In all, there is very little to report until new crop and the name of the game will be “hurry up and wait” for another week or two.

Full report.


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