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    Rice Market: USDA Offers Plenty of Info to Digest

    June 30 finally arrived and the USDA had plenty for the rice market to digest.  Thursday’s lineup of reporting included Export SalesAcreageRice Stocks and Agricultural Prices.  We’ll try to touch on each report in brief.

    Export Sales (week ending June 23):

    Focusing on long-grain, milled sales and shipments were both above the prior week.  Shipments totaled 18,454 tons with the majority going to Haiti (15,136).  Canada was in for 1,964 tons.  Over 90% of the sales last week were to three markets:  Jordan (4,001 tons), Saudi Arabia (1,949) and Canada (1,035).

    Compared to last year, long-grain milled sales are the bright spot, running 25% ahead.  However, rough rice sales continue to disappoint.  Time is running short in the 21/22 marketing year with just 5 reporting weeks left.  Total long-grain export sales are currently running 11% behind last year.  This is a major concern and one that points to further downward adjustments in old crop exports.

    Acreage:

    The tables below include USDA’s planted acreage estimates for rice from the June 30 Acreage report.  The survey for the Acreage report is conducted during the first two weeks of June.  The findings indicated a 109,000-acre reduction in total U.S. rice since the March Prospective Plantings survey.  At 2.343 million, total U.S. rice acres would be the lowest since 1983.  Most of the March to June reduction in total rice acres is attributed to medium grain (-66,000 acres).  In records going back to 1972, U.S. medium grain acres would be the lowest on record at 417,000.

    Table 1.  2022 U.S. Planted Acres, Rice.

    Unit:  million acres

    June Acreage

    March Intentions

    Difference

    (Mar. – June)

    2021

    Rice 2.343 2.452 -.109 2.532
    • Long-Grain
    1.905 1.943 -.038 1.970
    • Medium
    .417 .483 -.066 .526
    Source:  USDA-NASS        

    Since the March 31 intentions, Arkansas’ rice acres were revised 40,000 lower with long-grain down 30,000 and medium grain down 10,000.  Medium grain acres are the lowest since 2008.  Total acres at 1.151 million are the lowest since 2013.  Compared to 2021, total rice acres are down 60,000 this year or 5 percent.  There were no big surprises in the June Acreage for Arkansas given the planting delays and the sharp run-up in fertilizer and fuel this year.

    Table 2.  2022 Arkansas Planted Acres, Rice.

    Unit:  million acres

    June Acreage

    March Intentions

    Difference

    2021

    Rice 1.151 1.191 -.040 1.211
    • Long-Grain
    1.050 1.080 -.030 1.095
    • Medium
    .100 .110 -.010 .115
    Source:  USDA-NASS        

    The table below provides a look at state totals for long-grain acres.  In the June Acreage, USDA made no adjustments to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri acres.  Acres were reduced in Arkansas, California, and Texas by a total of 38,000.

    Table 3.  U.S. Long-Grain Rice Acres, 2022.

    March

    June

    March-to-June

    Unit: planted acres

    Prospective Plantings

    Acreage

    Difference

    Arkansas 1,080,000 1,050,000 (30,000)
    California 8,000 5,000 (3,000)
    Louisiana 390,000 390,000
    Mississippi 100,000 100,000
    Missouri 185,000 185,000
    Texas 180,000 175,000 (5,000)
    U.S. Total 1,943,000 1,905,000 (38,000)
    Source:  USDA-NASS      

    Rice Stocks:

    As of June 1, U.S. long-grain rough rice stocks were 37.58 million cwt. compared to 44.34 million a year ago.  This would be a year-to-year reduction of 6.76 million or 15%.  Arkansas’ on-farm stocks were down 24% from last year (4.1 million cwt. compared to 5.4 million last year).

    Full report is available here:  Rice Stocks

    Agricultural Prices:

    For the 21/22 marketing year, the weighted average price for long-grain through May 2022 is $13.56/cwt.  This is below the $13.80/cwt. USDA projected for the marketing year in the June WASDE.  Average prices and marketing totals for June and July are still needed to calculate the 21/22 marketing year average price.  Over the past five years, about 13% of production on average is marketed during these final two months of the marketing year.

    Rice Futures:

    September rice futures started the week strong, gaining a total of 39 cents by Wednesday’s close.  Thursday’s USDA reports didn’t provide enough shock value to push prices through the 20-day moving average, which now sits at $16.78 (red line).  For the time being, $16.40 is a decent layer of price support.  Ahead of a three-day holiday weekend, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about today’s lower trading.

    CME Sept 2022 Rough Rice Futures Daily Chart

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

    Looking ahead to the July 12th WASDE, there could be a mix of positives and negatives.  The 38,000-acre reduction in long-grain (i.e. June Acreage) could trim off perhaps as much as 2.75 million cwt in new crop production.  Without any offsets, that alone could turn prices higher.  The big concern ahead of us is what USDA does with old crop exports and ultimately new crop beginning stocks.  Follow the monthly USDA reports closely.

    The fourth of July trading schedule is below.  Have a wonderful 4th and thank those that keep our independence.

    Fourth of July Trading Schedule:

    • No Sunday or Monday Markets
    • Trading resumes Tuesday, July 5th at 8:30am CST



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