WASDE Rice: Domestic Usage Unchanged, Lower Ending Stocks

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

The outlook for 2019/20 U.S. rice this month is for lower supplies, unchanged domestic use and exports, and reduced ending stocks. Supplies are lowered by 0.5 million cwt to 261.5 million on decreased imports.

Long-grain imports are lowered on an expected reduced volume in the near-term due to sharply curtailed restaurant usage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Projected 2019/20 all rice ending stocks are subsequently reduced by 0.5 million cwt to 29.5 million, which is down 34 percent from last year. The projected all rice stocks-to-use ratio of 12.7 percent would be the lowest since 2007/08.

Reflecting the tighter supplies, the projected 2019/20 all rice season-average farm price is raised $0.20 per cwt to $13.20 with increases in both the long-grain and California medium- and short-grain price projections.

The 2019/20 international outlook is revised lower this month for supplies, consumption, trade, and ending stocks. Global 2019/20 rice supplies are lowered by 2.8 million tons to 671.8 million, mainly on production reductions for several Southeast Asian countries, led by Vietnam, Burma, and the Philippines.

World 2019/20 consumption is lowered by 2.1 million tons to 490.2 million on decreases for several Asian and African countries with constrained supplies.

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Global 2019/20 trade is reduced 2.2 million tons to 42.2 million, primarily on export restrictions recently imposed by several Southeast Asian rice exporters in the form of bans, licenses, and quotas due to domestic supply concerns.

Collectively, projected exports for Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam are reduced 1.7 million tons or 15 percent this month. Additionally, India’s exports are lowered 0.3 million tons to 10.2 million as the current country-wide quarantine is expected to affect export activity.

These factors have contributed to raising international rice prices to their highest levels in more than seven years.

Projected world ending stocks are down 0.7 million tons this month but are still at a record high of 181.6 million with China accounting for 65 percent of the total.

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