Rice Market: Prices Stabilize as Final Harvest Number Tabulated

Rice waits to be harvested by the combine in the background. Photo: Bruce Schultz, LSU AgCenter

The market has remained very quiet and virtually unchanged since the previous report due in part to the Columbus Day holiday delaying new reports but primarily as a result of no new significant information. The weekly export sales report for the week was not released at the time of this publication.

Speculatively, it is likely that the numbers for the sales will be muted as compared to the volume seen on last week’s installment although hopefully remaining above 50,000 MT. Given the large numbers of sales on the books from prior weeks, vessel tonnage will probably be above 70,000 MT as well.

Asian markets have been extremely quiet with no significant changes in cash values in that sphere. Even currency valuations have held stable as compared to a week ago.

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USDA did raise its world market price estimate for both classes of rice this week. This adjustment is generally reflexive as opposed to forward looking and is representative of the fundamentals outlined in the WASDE report last week.

Domestic cash markets have also been relatively quiet. Pricing has stabilized at current levels for now as the final production number is tabulated.

Growers in Texas and Louisiana that have opted to grow a second crop are generally reporting good conditions at this stage of production. An early frost or freeze could significantly change this scenario but hopefully the weather will cooperate and allow for the completion of second crop production.

From the Upper Delta, reports continue to suggest that quality and yields are holding up which will contribute to the marketing equation as the year progresses.

In the futures market, the action was slightly bearish against last week’s trading. All of the open contracts on the board experienced modest losses ranging from 0.04% – 0.42% respectively. The nearby contracts noted the largest shifts, although the overall magnitude was relatively small.  Average daily trading volume was up for the week by about 4%, while the open interest was slightly lower than the same time last week.

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