Rice Market Update: Strong Rough Rice Export Sales with Eyes on Ida

    Photo: University of Arkansas

    In the U.S., the focus has turned to a harvest that is expected to be at least 15% off from last year. Optimism still reigns from Arkansas, where harvest is expected to be in full swing in the next two weeks. Louisiana and Texas continue to have solid reports coming out of their cuttings as well. The milled rice market and the paddy market have bifurcated, and this is augmented by the struggles in Haiti for milled rice.

    While we were celebrating sales last week, the industry is lamenting the removal of 22,000 metric tons from previous sales as a result of the political turmoil. And as we’ve stated in the past, the 120,000 metric tons of Iraq business is what the mills needed, but more business must be won to keep prices up.

    Conversely, paddy sales to Central and South America have remained strong and are a significant help as the industry prepares for new crop. This is supported by the USDA Export Sales report this week, discussed below.

    On the ground in Texas, prices are reported at $14.33/cwt, and Louisiana at $12.96. Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri remain at $14.50-$15 CIF NOLA, and will come closer to more exact ranges once harvest begins.

    In Asia, prices are returning to a more historic norm. Indian prices remain in the $380/mt range, while Thai prices have bumped slightly to $395/mt, and Viet cresting at $400/mt again, for the first time in several weeks. The assumption is that Viet rice has increased more on account of winning most of the Filipino business, but we will likely see Thai prices inch upwards in the weeks to come as well.

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    USDA’s weekly net export sales report shows net sales of 79,500 metric tons, up 84% from last week. Of the total, 57,240 metric tons of which was long grain. Of the long grain, 38,500 metric tons, or 67%, was rough rice, further corroborating the importance of the rough rice exports. The milled and brown long grain rice went to Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, and Saudi Arabia. The 22,300 metric tons of medium grain all went to South Korea.

    Exports totaled 81,900 metric tons, which is 11% down from last week. 50,900 metric tons, or 62% of which, was long-grain rough. Long Grain milled or brown was 26,400 tons, and only 4,700 tons of medium grain was registered.

    The futures market had an average daily volume of 934, which is 27% lower than last week, and Open Interest of 7,687, which is right on par with last week’s numbers. The low from last week was down to $13.18, and the high this week was $13.68. The market is trading mostly sideways in anticipation of potentially more Iraq business in the face of new crop supplies.

    Full report.

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