Rice Market: Sept. Contract Remains in Uptrend

    Young rice crop. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    September rice futures are finishing the week strong with a 20-cent gain Thursday and further gains in early trading Friday.  Following Thursday’s close at $17.50/cwt., fall delivery bids at mills around eastern Arkansas were in the $7.74 to $7.79/bu. range.

    Fall bids at driers were $7.61 to $7.67/bu.  Recall in the May WASDE, USDA’s initial season average price forecast for long-grain was $15.50/cwt. or $6.98 per bushel.

    From a chart perspective, the September contract remains in an uptrend with key support at the May 10th low of $16.77 and resistance at the recent contract high of $18.19 ½.  Should the current uptrend break down, initial support could be found along the 20-day moving average (red line) at $17.29.

    CME Rough Rice Futures Sept 2022

    CME Rough Rice Futures, September 2022. Click Image to Enlarge

    There wasn’t a lot to report in this week’s Export Sales.  It did feature a 15,200 ton long-grain milled sale to Haiti.  U.S. milled sales to Haiti are currently running 10% ahead of last year.  Long-grain rough rice sales continue to lag with U.S. sales to Mexico down 18% from a year ago.

    Prior to this week, planting was advancing rapidly and providing modest pressure to rice prices.  After a historically slow start, the U.S. rice crop is now 91% planted, just ahead of the five-year average pace.  As of last Sunday, planting progress in Arkansas and Mississippi had moved ahead of their respective 5-year averages.

    Missouri continued to trail the average pace with 80 percent of rice acres planted as of May 22nd.  Given the rainfall this week, expect little change in these numbers in next Tuesday’s Crop Progress report.  All USDA reporting will be delayed by one day next week due to the Memorial Day holiday.

    Table 2.  U.S. Rice Planting Progress, 2022.


    May 22, 2022

    Last Week

    Last Year

    5-Yr Avg.

    State Percent Planted
    AR 90 76 92 88
    CA 90 80 95 83
    LA 98 96 95 97
    MS 96 84 92 87
    MO 80 56 94 85
    TX 96 92 95 92
    United States 91 80 94 89

    Source:  USDA-NASS.

    For Arkansas, May 25th was the crop insurance final planting date for rice.  The late planting period ends June 9th.  The 2022 crop insurance “projected price” for long-grain, which was determined from mid-January to mid-February, is $14.90/cwt.  New crop rice futures are now close to $3/cwt above that price level.

    This may provide an incentive to plant rice past the optimal window instead of taking a prevented planting payment.  Consult with crop insurance and agronomic experts on late planting decisions.

    Futures markets will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day. Thank you to all our military veterans and service members for their service.

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