Rice Market: Prices Can Only Increase Going Forward….Right?

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There have been very few changes in the rice market conditions since the previous report. Export sales reporting remains delayed as the USDA struggles to catch up with the aftermath of the U.S. Government shutdown. Per USDA’s indication, the data should be assimilated and back to current status within the next few weeks.

While not critical as a weekly analysis tool, the export numbers do help to provide some indication as to the momentum and direction of the domestic market, as well as provide additional illumination as to the pulse of the export millings.

Despite the paucity of information, all other indicators would suggest that the export market has remained near the status quo of the previous weeks. Some factors that allude to this situation are the general stagnation of Asian prices.

Benchmark Asian origins have seen very few fluctuations over the past weeks and this week is no exception. The minor changes that have been noted from week to week are largely attributable to currency valuations and the general lack of fundamental pressure to either direction.

The world market price estimate from USDA has stabilized this week after being adjusted downward in the previous installment. Some of the changes are a result of equalization in the figures that happened during the shutdown. The remainder are reflective of the market in general. 

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Domestically, cash pricing has remained unchanged from last week as well. Texas seems to have found the bottom of the market and with the help of renewed buying interest from the Mexican market, has begun to gain strength over the past few weeks.

The current price levels will likely increase in the coming weeks as the market converges on the cash prices closer to the river market. Other market areas have been VERY quiet, with no changes in bidding reported over the course of the week.

In other areas, the futures market has had a good showing with net gains being posted for all open contracts on the board. The appreciation spread ranged from 0.25%-1.86% since last week and of note, the volume and open interest is notably higher as well. This resurgence in price and volume seems to indicate that the market has tested lows and has bounced as a result.

If this trend continues, then the market may see a bullish undertone for the next several days at least.

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