Rice Market: Strong Exports, Increase in Cash Bids

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

The rice industry continues to move forward as harvest begins to conclude along the Gulf Coast and gets well underway in the Delta. Export sales for the week posted strong number for the second week in a row. These values are much closer to the “normal” volume expected in a healthy market and indicates that the gears are beginning to turn out some of the market volume. 

The Iraqi sale was posted in this week’s report which does help to boost the lagging export numbers. With buyers beginning to return to the market, hopefully similar figures will be seen in the weeks to come. Vessel tonnage was reduced for the week but given the sales volumes of the past several weeks, should begin to pick up in the near future. Asian pricing saw some appreciation over the course of the week with benchmark origins gaining $5-$10 per MT on average. Much of this is likely weather related as the Far East prepares to experience some severe weather.

USDA decreased its world market price for the week for both classes. With the firming of the market indicators over the week, it can reasonably be expected that the estimate will either remain unchanged or be adjusted higher in next week’s report.

In the domestic cash market, cash bids are beginning to be more prolific with the advent of harvest in most areas. Texas and Louisiana have completed their first crop harvest with quality and yields being reported as very good. Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri have all gotten a jump on the weather and harvest in the Upper Delta is well underway. Preliminary reports suggest that some grass and smut issues exist but on balance the crop looks to be “good” as well. 

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The futures market had another positive week with all of the open contracts posting gains over last Friday’s values. Much of the weekly movement is undoubtedly trading weather patterns although with the nearby September contract preparing to exit the board, some position adjustments play into the price moves as well.

Looking into the next month, the majority of the rice should be harvested in the next thirty days which will provide a clear picture as to what the overall size and quality of the new crop will be. With this information the trade will be better positioned to explore the crystal ball and see what the best route forward will be.

Full report.

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