The rice market continues to plod forward as very little has changed since the last report and all eyes are focused on the new crop conditions. The export sales report this week was consistent with our predictions and the cycle with a notable and respectable 96,700 MT in total reported sales. Again, if the patter persists (which it should), there should be some decrease in volume in the next report followed by some low numbers in the report following before the buyers again look for significant tonnage.
The positive side of this cycle is that with harvest nearing, these numbers SHOULD increase to more normal and predictable increments.
Vessel loadings were off slightly from last week’s volume but were still at moderate levels considering the outstanding sales. Continued shipping problems persist but the trade is moving forward with as much as possible.
Asian pricing for the week was virtually unchanged from the previous report in the benchmark origins. This suggests that there have been no significant changes in the market fundamentals in the Far East and with the global atmosphere, this is unlikely to change in the near term. USDA notably boosted its world market price projection for both classes of rice. Speculatively, this is probably a reflection of the previous market movements and adjustments rather than a projection of price direction. This is particularly the case as the WMP calculation is a backward looking estimator.
In the domestic cash markets, the old crop situation remains unchanged from the previous report and the new crop cash prices are getting only indicator numbers with no real trading of note having materialized. Crop progress has continued to appreciate as well. Additional precipitation along the Gulf Coast is impacting the flowering and will ultimately impact yield and quality for new crop but on balance the rice looks to be in good shape.
In the Upper Delta, plantings are drawing to a close as a result of rainfall and the calendar running out. If preliminary estimates are correct then there will be significantly less acreage planted in that region than is currently projected which will negatively impact crop size. In the futures market, the action was generally negative over the course of the week with all of the open contracts on the board trading into negative territory. Net losses ranged from 0.04% – 0.76% with the nearby contracts noting the greatest decreases.