There has been very little change in the rice market over the past week with most of the benchmark values near to the same levels noted in the previous report. In the government report publications, export sales were down compared to last weeks’ values but still remain in firm territory to keep pace with the marketing year. Next week may see similar values but the trade should pick back up as the harvest progresses.
Vessel loadings were off notably in tonnage. There is a substantial volume of sales yet to be shipped so that figure can be expected to increase as those shipments are scheduled and loaded in the coming weeks.
Asian benchmark pricing remains unchanged since last week’s report. Fundamental factors in the region have not changed and with no major external pressure from currencies, the valuations should have stability for the near future.
USDA held its world market price estimate unchanged also since last week which underscores the market stagnation.
Domestically, pricing has changed very little as well. Grower offers continue to remain higher than buyer bids and the impasse that has plagued the industry for much of the calendar year remains in effect.
The harvest in the Upper Delta is drawing to a close at this point and while the crop has not been stellar, it has met or exceeded the expectations of the industry for most of the growing season. Milling yields are not being reported as high as would normally be preferred but most of the rice is at least making the US #2 grade.
The second crop harvest is pending in the South, but ratoon development is being impeded by the adverse weather and cooler conditions. The next few weeks will be key to determining how much contribution the second crop production will make to the net bottom line.
The futures market saw the bears stay in control as the open contracts on the board traded into negative territory for yet another week. Some of the downward pressure in this week’s action was a result of rolling positions from the November into the January.
By weeks’ end, the open contracts on the board posted losses ranging from 2.11% – 2.42% with the nearby contracts experiencing the greatest decrease. Average daily volume was up slightly as compared to last week as was the open interest on Thursday’s trading.