Rice Market Update: WASDE Report Indicates Complications for Buyers, Sellers

    Rice irrigated with poly pipe. ©Debra L Ferguson

    The story continues to be the planting progress in Arkansas—this week showing numbers that are optimistic in the grand scheme at 57% planted, but still 15% behind normal. Rice emerged is at 32%, just under 20% behind normal. Missouri is also behind by 30% in planting and 35% in emerged. At this stage, the real outlier is California, racing ahead to 70% planted compared to the 5-year average of 28%. This lurch forward can be attributed, however, to the significant reduction in acreage that ultimately will shorten the planting season.

    The WASDE report was released this week, which we will discuss later on, but in short, the adjustments would indicate a bearish old crop sentiment, and a bullish new crop sentiment. On the ground, this would prove out, as there isn’t much old crop in first hands, nor is there imminent demand on the horizon. The exceedingly high prices in the western hemisphere are true impediment for attracting new customers, and retaining old ones. Sure would be nice to find a customer close by, just 90 miles off the coast…Cuba comes to mind.

    In Asia, prices have jumped in both Thailand and Vietnam, moving up to $455pmt and $420pmt, respectively. This is an increase of abut $5pmt for each origin, which could indicate inflation beginning to have an impact, but the price drop for Indian rice from $355pmt to $350pmt proves that theory wrong. Pakistan is now slightly more expensive than India.

    The April WASDE report was released this week, showing the 2022/23 outlook for U.S. rice is for reduced supplies, exports, domestic use, and ending stocks. Total 2022/23 supplies are projected at 258.2 million cwt, a 4% decrease from a year earlier on lower production and beginning stocks more than offsetting record imports.

    All rice production is projected at 182.7 million cwt, down 5% from 2021/22 on reduced harvested area and yield. The projected all rice yield is 7,596 pounds per acre, down 113 pounds from last year’s record with a reduction in relatively higher-yielding California acreage, as indicated in the NASS Prospective Plantings report.

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    Continuing in the U.S., exports are projected down by 3 million cwt now at 82 million cwt because U.S. rice is increasingly uncompetitive due to higher prices. All rice 2022/23 ending stocks are projected at 33.2 million cwt, down 11% from last year. The 2022/23 all rice season-average farm price (SAFP) is projected at a record $17.80 per cwt, up $2.10 from the 2021/22 revised SAFP.

    From a global perspective, the WASDE is calling for records in production, consumption, and trade, resulting in a reduced ending stocks. China, India, and Bangladesh are the world’s largest rice producers, while India and Thailand are the world’s largest rice exporters. The increased use of rice (brokens) in animal feed is also driving the increase in global consumption.

    The weekly USDA Export Sales report shows net sales of 29,200 MT, which is up noticeably from the previous week, but down 18% from the prior 4-week average. Increases primarily for Haiti (13,500 MT), Canada (3,700 MT), Mexico (3,700 MT), El Salvador (3,100 MT), and Guatemala (2,300 MT), were offset by reductions for Yemen (300 MT). Exports of 46,000 MT were up 35% from the previous week, but down 12% from the prior 4-week average. The destinations were primarily to Haiti (15,200 MT), Japan (12,200 MT), Honduras (8,500 MT), Canada (3,700 MT), and Mexico (1,700 MT).

    Full report.

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