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USDA Rice Outlook


13 June 2014

USDA Rice Outlook - 13 June 2014USDA Rice Outlook - 13 June 2014


USDA Rice Outlook

U.S. 2013/14 and 2014/15 Season Average Farm Price Forecasts Lowered

The only revision to the 2014/15 supply side forecasts was a 3.0-million cwt increase in the carryin to 32.3 million cwt. The crop remains forecast at 213.0 million cwt, the largest since the 2010/11 record. Crop progress is slightly ahead of normal in most States, and conditions exceed those reported a year earlier in the South. Imports remain forecast at 22.0 million cwt, unchanged from 2013/14. Total supplies are up 8 percent from 2013/14.

Total use for 2014/15 remains forecast at 230.0 million cwt, with combined domestic and residual use forecast at 128.0 million cwt and exports forecast at 102.0 million cwt. The larger carryin resulted in a 3.0-million cwt increase in ending stocks to 37.3 million cwt. For 2013/14, exports were lowered 3.0 million cwt to 92.0 million based on a slower pace of sales.

The 2014/15 season-average farm price (SAFP) range for U.S. long-grain rice was lowered 70 cents on both ends to $12.80-$13.80 per cwt, compared with a revised projection of $15.10-$15.70 per cwt for 2013/14. The combined medium- and short-grain 2014/15 U.S. SAFP range was lowered 30 cents on both ends to $18.20-$19.20 per cwt, compared with a revised projection of $17.40-$18.00 per cwt for 2013/14.

Global rice production for 2014/15 remains forecast at a record 480.7 million tons (milled basis), up 1 percent from a year earlier. There were no production revisions this month for 2014/15. Record production is projected for East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Global rice consumption (including a residual component) in 2014/15 is projected at a record 482.2 million tons, exceeding production by 1.5 million tons. Global ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected at 110.7 million tons, more than 1 percent below a year earlier and the first decline since 2003/04.

Total calendar year 2015 global rice trade remains forecast at a record 41.3 million tons, up 1.5 percent from 2014. Thailand is projected to be the largest exporting country, and China is projected to be the largest importer. The only revision to calendar year 2014 trade was a 0.1-million ton reduction in U.S. exports to 3.1 million tons. 

Prices for medium and higher grades of Thailand’s regular-milled white rice have changed little since early May. Price quotes from Vietnam have increased about 1 percent since early May. U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have declined slightly over the past month. Prices for California milled rice for the U.S. market have also declined over the past month, while quotes for the export market are unchanged.

Domestic Outlook 

U.S. 2014/15 Rice Production Projected at 213.0 Million Cwt

There were no revisions to the 2014/15 U.S. rice crop forecasts this month. The crop remains projected at 213.0 million cwt (rough-basis), up 12 percent from a year earlier and the largest since the 2010/11 record crop. The larger crop is the result of a 16-percent expansion in planted area to 2.89 million acres. The 2014/15 area estimates is based on the March Prospective Plantings report, which asked producers in early March how much rice acreage they intended to plant. Actual plantings often vary from intended plantings. The first survey of 2014/15 actual plantings will be reported in the June 30 Acreage report.

The 2014/15 average yield remains projected at 7,468 pounds per acre, down 3 percent from a year earlier, but still the second highest on record. The yield forecast is based on 1990-2013 trend yields by class and reflects the smaller-thannormal share of the total U.S. crop being harvested in California, which consistently achieves the highest yields among U.S. rice-growing States. The first survey of actual 2014/15 yields for all rice and by State will be released in the August Crop Production report.

By class, the 2014/15 U.S. long-grain crop remains projected at 161.0 million cwt, an increase of 22 percent from a year earlier and the largest since the 2010/11 record long-grain crop. Combined medium- and short-grain production in 2014/15 remains projected at 52.0 million cwt, a decline of 10 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. The decline in medium- and short-grain production in 2014/15 is the result of drought and low reservoir levels in California where the bulk of the U.S. medium- and short-grain crop is grown. Production of mediumand short-grain rice is projected to be higher in the South than a year earlier.

Despite heavy rains early in the season in much of the South, the U.S. crop progress is slightly ahead of normal in most parts of the country, with planting complete in all reported rice growing States. For the week ending June 8, 93 percent of the U.S. rice crop had emerged, unchanged from last year, but 1 percentage point ahead of the U.S. 5-year average. In the Delta, Arkansas’ 2014/15 rice crop was reported 98 percent emerged by June 8, up slightly from the State’s 5-year average of 96 percent. Mississippi’s 2014/15 crop was reported 91 percent emerged by June 8, 3 percentage points ahead of the State’s 5-year average. In Missouri, 97 percent of the 2014/15 crop was reported emerged by June 8, 1 percentage point ahead of the State’s 5-year average.

Progress was normal or ahead of normal on the Gulf Coast as well. In Texas, 100 percent of the crop was reported emerged by June 8, 5 percentage points ahead of the State’s 5-year average. Louisiana’s 2014/15 was reported 99 percent emerged by June 8, unchanged from the State’s 5-year average. Rain has been especially heavy this spring in these two Gulf Coast States. In California, despite a delayed start to planting, progress was slightly ahead of normal. For the week ending June 8, 75 percent of the 2014/15 California crop had emerged, slightly ahead of the State’s 5-year average of 73 percent.

Conditions of the 2014/15 rice crop remain higher than last year across the South. For the week ending June 8, 69 percent of the U.S. crop was rated in good or excellent condition, compared with 62 percent a year earlier. Arkansas’ 2014/15 crop was rated 63 percent good or excellent for the week ending June 8, well ahead of just 51 percent a year earlier. In Mississippi, 80 percent of the crop was rated in good or excellent condition for the week ending June 8, well ahead of 59 percent a year earlier. Missouri’s 2014/15 rice crop was rated 57 percent good or excellent for the week ending June 8, up from just 46 percent a year earlier. Most of the Delta experienced heavy rains early in the 2013 growing season that adversely impacted crop conditions.

Crop conditions of the 2014/15 rice crop were reported higher than a year earlier on the Gulf coast as well, despite heavy rains this season. In Louisiana, 80 percent of the crop was rated in good or excellent condition, well above 59 percent a year earlier. In Texas, 53 percent of the crop was rated in good or excellent condition for the week ending June 8, compared with just 42 percent a year earlier. In contrast to the South, crop conditions in California remain behind last year’s abnormally high ratings. For the week ending June 8, 75 percent of the California crop was rated in good or excellent condition, compared with 95 percent a year earlier. The State has experienced a severe drought this year.

U.S. Rice Supplies in 2014/15 Projected To Increase 8 Percent

Total U.S. supplies of rice in 2014/15 are projected at 267.3 million cwt, up 3.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 8 percent above a year earlier. Total supplies are the largest since 2010/11. In 2014/15, a larger crop and steady imports are projected to more than offset a smaller carryin. By class, long-grain total supplies are projected at 199.3 million cwt, up 2.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 16 percent larger than a year earlier. The year-to-year increase is the result of a much larger crop. Medium- and short-grain total supplies are projected at 65.7 million cwt, an increase of 1.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast, but down 11 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. Production, carryin, and imports of medium- and short-grain rice are all projected smaller in 2014/15 than a year earlier.

The beginning stocks forecast for 2014/15 was raised 3.0 million cwt to 32.3 million cwt, still 11 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 2009/10. The revision was the result of changes to the 2013/14 balance sheet. The 2014/15 long-grain carryin forecast was raised 2.0 million cwt to 19.3 million cwt, still 12 percent smaller than a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. The medium- and short-grain carryin forecast was increased 1.0 million cwt to 10.7 million cwt, still 12 percent below a year earlier. Stocks of brokens, included in the all-rice estimate, are not classified by class.

Total U.S. rice imports in 2014/15 remain projected at 22.0 million cwt, unchanged from a year earlier and second only to the 2007/08 record of 23.9 million cwt. Long-grain imports remain projected at 19.0 million cwt, up 3 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. Thailand is expected to again supply more than 70 percent of U.S. long-grain imports, shipping its premium jasmine rice, an aromatic. Basmati rice from India and Pakistan supply much of the remaining U.S. long-grain rice imports.

Combined medium- and short-grain rice imports remain projected at 3.0 million cwt, down 14 percent from a year earlier, but still slightly above the 2009/10- 2012/13 average. In 2013/14, the U.S. imported nearly 1.0 million cwt of broken rice kernels from Australia, a major exporter of medium- and short-grain rice. The United States does not typically import brokens from Australia. Specialty rice from Thailand accounts for the bulk of U.S. imports of medium- and short-grain rice. Italy supplies a small amount of Arborio rice to the United States each year.

U.S. 2014/15 Exports Remain Forecast at 102.0 Million Cwt

Total use of U.S. rice in 2014/15 remains projected at 230.0 million cwt, up almost 7 percent from the year-earlier revised estimate. Both total domestic use (including a residual component) and exports are projected to be higher in 2014/15 than in 2013/14. Total long-grain use in 2014/15 is projected at 173.0 million cwt, an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier and the highest since 2010/11. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, total use is projected at 57.0 million cwt, a decline of nearly 10 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09.

Total domestic and residual use of all rice in 2014/15 remains projected at 128.0 million cwt, up 4.0 million cwt from a year earlier. The increase is based on a larger U.S. crop and a slightly larger population. Long-grain domestic and residual use remains projected at 101.0 million cwt, up 11 percent from a year earlier and the second highest on record. Combined medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use remains forecast at 27.0 million cwt, down 18 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 1988/89. The decline is based on smaller supplies and higher prices.

Total exports in 2014/15 are projected at 102.0 million cwt, up almost 11 percent from a year earlier. The increase in U.S. exports is based on larger supplies and expectations of more competitive U.S. prices, with U.S. sales likely to be larger in 2014/15 to the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, two key markets where the United States competes with Asian exporters.

Long-grain U.S. exports remain projected at 72.0 million cwt, an increase of 16 percent from a year earlier. The Western Hemisphere is the largest export market for U.S. long-grain rice, accounting for two-thirds of U.S. long-grain shipments. The Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa are the next largest markets for U.S. longgrain rice. Combined medium- and short-grain U.S. exports remain projected at 30.0 million cwt, unchanged from a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/9. In 2014/15, U.S. medium- and short-grain exports will be limited by tighter U.S. supplies and higher prices. Northeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa are the major markets for U.S. medium- and short-grain rice.

By type, U.S. rough-rice exports remain projected at 34.0 million cwt, up 8 percent from a year earlier. Long-grain accounts for the bulk of U.S. rough-rice exports, with Latin America the top regional market and Mexico and Central America the largest buyers. Southern long-grain accounts for nearly all of the U.S. rough-rice  shipments to Latin America. Turkey and Libya account for the bulk of U.S. medium- and short-grain rough-rice exports, taking mostly California rice.

Combined milled- and brown-rice exports (on a rough basis) are projected at 68.0 million cwt, up 12 percent from a year earlier. Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Haiti, Canada, and Sub-Saharan Africa are the largest export markets for U.S. milled rice exports.

U.S. ending stocks of all rice in 2014/15 are projected at 37.3 million cwt, up 3.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and nearly 16 percent larger than a year earlier. The stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 16.2 percent, up from a revised 15.0 percent in 2013/14. By class, the 2014/15 U.S. long-grain carryout is projected at 26.3 million cwt, 2.0 million cwt above last month’s forecast and 36 percent larger than a year earlier. The long-grain stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 15.2 percent, up from 12.6 percent in 2013/14. Expectations of ending stocks of this level will likely pressure prices lower during the market year.

The medium- and short-grain carryout is projected at 8.7 million cwt, up 1.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast, but 19 percent smaller than a year earlier. The medium- and short-grain stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 15.3 percent, down from 17.0 percent in 2013/14. Both ending stocks and the stocks-to-use ratio for medium- and short-grain rice are the lowest since 2008/09. Expectations of a small carryout are expected to push prices higher in 2014/15.

2013/14 U.S. Export Forecast Lowered to 92.0 Million Cwt

There were no revisions to the 2013/14 supply side estimates this month. On the use side, the 2013/14 U.S. export forecast was lowered 3.0 million cwt to 92.0 million cwt based on shipment data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau through April, shipment and sales data reported in the weekly U.S. Export Sales through May 29, and expectations regarding shipments for the remainder of the market year. Sales and shipments to Central America, Northeast Asia, Venezuela, and Sub- Saharan Africa have all lagged those of a year earlier. U.S. rice exports in 2013/14 are 14 percent smaller than a year earlier and the weakest since 2006/07.

Combined milled- and brown-rice exports (on a rough-rice basis) are projected at 60.5 million cwt, down 1.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 17 percent below a year earlier. Combined milled and brown rice exports are the lowest since 2006/07. Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Canada, and Sub-Saharan Africa are the largest markets for U.S. milled rice (including brown rice). U.S. rough-rice exports are projected at 31.5 million cwt, also down 1.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 8 percent below a year earlier. These are the smallest U.S. rough-rice exports since 2000/01. Mexico and Central America are the top markets for U.S. rough rice, taking almost exclusively southern long-grain. Turkey and Libya are the only substantial market for U.S. medium-grain rough-rice exports.

U.S. 2013/14 long-grain exports are projected at 62.0 million cwt, down 2.0 million from last month’s forecast and 18 percent below a year earlier. These are the lowest U.S. long-grain exports since 1996/97. A record price difference over Asian competitors and smaller U.S. supplies are the main reasons for the sharp decline in U.S. long-grain rice exports in 2013/14. Latin America, Canada, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa are the major markets for U.S. long-grain rice. Long-grain accounts for about 70 percent of global rice trade.

Combined medium- and short-grain U.S. exports in 2013/14 are forecast at 30.0 million cwt, down 1.0 million from last month’s forecast and 3 percent below a year earlier. These are the smallest medium- and short-grain U.S. rice exports since 2008/09.

The reduced 2013/14 U.S. export forecast raised total U.S. ending rice stocks 3.0 million cwt to 32.3 million cwt. Long-grain ending stocks were raised 2.0 million cwt to 19.3 million cwt. The combined medium- and short-grain 2013/14 ending stocks forecast was raised 1.0 million cwt to 10.7 million cwt.

U.S. Season-Average Farm Price Forecasts Lowered for 2013/14 and 2014/15

The 2014/15 season-average farm price (SAFP) range for U.S. long-grain rice is projected at $12.80-$13.80 per cwt, down 70 cents on both the high and low end from last month’s forecast. The 2014/15 SAFP for long-grain rice is below the revised $15.10-$15.70 per cwt forecast for 2013/14 and is the lowest since 2010/11. The lower expected U.S. SAFP in 2014/15 is based on larger U.S. supplies and expected lower global trading prices. The high- and low-end of the 2013/14 SAFP was lowered 10 cents this month based on monthly cash prices and marketings through April and expectations of prices and marketings the remainder of the market year.

The combined medium- and short-grain 2014/15 U.S. SAFP range is projected at $18.20-$19.20 per cwt, down 30 cents on both the high and low ends of last month’s range. This compares with a revised $17.40-$18.00 per cwt for 2013/14. The 2013/14 SAFP was lowered 30 cents cwt on both ends based on monthly cash prices and marketings through April and expectations of prices and marketings the remainder of the market year. The higher medium- and short-grain SAFP in 2014/15 is largely due to the smaller projected U.S. medium- and short-grain crop, a result of severe drought and low water levels in reservoirs in California.

In late May, NASS reported a mid-May U.S. long-grain rough-rice price of $15.70 per cwt, up 10 cents from the revised April estimate. The mid-May long-grain price is the highest since December 2008. The April price was lowered 40 cents to $15.60 from a preliminary $16.00. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, the mid-May NASS price was reported at $18.90 per cwt, up 80 cents from the April price. The April price is unchanged from the midmonth estimate to $18.10 per cwt.

International Outlook 

Global Rice Area and Production Projected Record High in 2014/15

Global rice production for 2014/15 remains forecast at a record 480.7 million tons (milled basis), up 1 percent from a year earlier. There were no production revisions this month for 2014/15. Record production is projected for East Asia and Southeast Asia. South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are projected to harvest a near-record crop. This is the fifth consecutive year of increasing global rice production.

The record global crop in 2014/15 is the result of expanded area. At a record 161.6 million hectares, global rice area in 2014/15 is up 0.8 million hectares from a year earlier. The average global yield, forecast at 4.44 tons per hectare (on a rough-rice basis), is up slightly from 2013/14 and just fractionally below the 2012/13 record of 4.45 tons.

East Asia is the largest rice producing region in the world and is forecast to produce a record 158.8 million tons of rice in 2014/15, up almost 1 percent from a year earlier, with China accounting for all of the expected production growth in the region. China is the world’s largest rice growing country and is projected to harvest a record 144.0 million tons of rice in 2014/15. This is the 11th consecutive year of increasing rice production for China. Rice area in China has expanded each year since 2008/09, partly a response to rising Government support prices. Japan, North Korea, and South Korea are projected to harvest smaller crops in 2014/15 than in 2013/14.

South Asia is the second largest rice growing region in the world, with 2014/15 production projected at a near-record 153.9 million tons, just 0.3 million tons below the 2013/14 record. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are projected to harvest slightly larger crops in 2014/15. In contrast, India’s production—projected at 106.0 million tons—is fractionally below its 2013/14 record crop of 106.3 million tons. India has the largest rice growing area in the world, forecast at 44.0 million hectares in 2014/15. More than 40 percent of India’s rice production relies on the natural flooding caused by the Southwest Monsoon, a major factor limiting India’s rice yields. Nepal’s 2014/15 crop is projected to be smaller in 2014/15 with a return to a normal yield. Sri Lanka’s crop is projected slightly smaller in 2014/15 as well. India and Pakistan are major exporters.

Southeast Asia is projected harvest of a record 118.6 million tons in 2014/15, up 1 percent from a year earlier. The region includes some of the largest rice exporters and importers in the world. The region’s main importers—Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines—are projected to increase production in 2014/15. Among the region’s exporters, both Burma and Cambodia are projected to increase production to record levels in 2014/15. Production levels in Thailand and Vietnam are projected to remain at 2013/14 record levels.

Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to harvest a near-record 13.1 million tons of rice in 2014/15, an increase of 2 percent from a year earlier. The larger crop is a result of a higher yield; planted area is actually lower. Among the major producers in the region, production is projected higher in 2014/15 in Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal, and Tanzania. In contrast, Nigeria—currently the regions second largest producer—is projected to harvest a smaller crop in 2014/15 than a year earlier. 

South America is projected to produce 16.5 million tons of rice in 2014/15, fractionally below a year earlier, a result of a slight decline in area. The region includes both mid-size importers and exporters. Among the exporters, Argentina, Guyana, Paraguay, and Uruguay are projected to increase production in 2014/15. For the importers—Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela—little change is projected in production levels. Brazil, both an importer and an exporter, is projected to harvest a slightly smaller crop in 2014/15, partly due to normal crop rotation.

Elsewhere in the world, both Egypt and Australia are projected to harvest larger crops in 2014/15, with Egypt’s crop the largest on record. Both Egypt and Australia are major exporters of medium- and short-grain rice and they typically achieve the highest yields in the world. The European Union is projected to increase production 1 percent. The region is a major importer of long-grain rice (including aromatic rice). Finally, the 2014/15 U.S. crop of 6.8 million tons is 11 percent above a year earlier, a result of an area expansion.

The 2013/14 global production forecast was revised up 1.4 million tons to 477.5 million tons. Most of the revisions are in South Asia, with India accounting for most of the upward revision in global production. India’s 2013/14 production forecast was raised 1.3 million tons to a record 106.3 million tons based on a larger than expected kharif crop reported by the Government of India in its Third Advanced Estimate on May 15. India’s average rice yield was raised slightly while area is unchanged from the May forecast. Also in South Asia, Sri Lanka’s 2013/14 crop estimate was raised 90,000 tons to 2.84 million tons based on Government data on the Maha crop harvested this spring. Nepal’s 2013/14 crop estimate was raised 61,000 tons to 3.361 million tons based on a higher yield. Finally, Uruguay’s 2013/14 rice crop was reduced 56,000 tons to 952,000 tons based on a smaller area estimate.

Global rice consumption and residual use in 2014/15 is projected at a record 482.2 million tons, unchanged from last month, but more than 1 percent larger than a year earlier. Consumption (including the residual) exceeds production in 2014/15 by 1.5 million tons. Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States account for the bulk of the projected increase in global consumption and residual use.

Global ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected at 110.7 million tons, up 0.9 million tons from last month’s forecast but still more than 1 percent below a year earlier and the first decline since 2003/04. India accounts for most of this month’s upward revision in 2014/15 global ending stocks. U.S. ending stocks were revised up as well. On an annual basis, China and India account for most of the expected decline in global ending stocks in 2014/15. In contrast, Thailand’s ending stocks are projected to remain at a near-record high, and U.S. ending are projected to increase 15 percent. The global stocks-to-use ratio for 2014/15 is calculated at 23.0 percent, slightly lower than a year earlier.

Global Rice Trade in 2015 Projected To Be the Highest on Record

Total calendar year 2015 global rice trade remains forecast at a record 41.3 million tons, up 1.5 percent from 2014. The increased trade level is largely based on record imports by Sub-Saharan Africa and China, slightly lower global trading prices, and abundant exportable supplies in Asia and in the Western Hemisphere. There were no revisions this month to the 2015 import or export forecasts.

Thailand is projected to return as the largest rice exporter in 2015, shipping 10.0 million tons of rice, up 1.0 million from this year and the highest since the record 10.6 million tons shipped in 2011. The projected increase is based on more competitive prices and abundant supplies. Since late 2011, Thailand’s paddy pledging scheme—whereby the Government purchased rice at prices well above market levels—made Thailand uncompetitive in many global markets. This program has been suspended for the 2013/14 dry-season crop that began harvest in March 2014, and the Government has been selling its previously purchased stocks of rice since January. India is projected to export 9.0 million tons of rice in 2015, down 1.0 million tons from 2014. The decline is largely based on more competition from Thailand. For 2012-2014, India replaced Thailand as the largest rice exporting country.

Vietnam’s 2015 rice exports remain projected at 6.7 million tons, up 3 percent from a year earlier, a result of a record crop and little growth in consumption. Despite the increase, Vietnam’s 2014 exports remain below its 2012 record of 7.7 million tons. Pakistan remains projected to export a near-record 3.9 million tons of rice in 2015, unchanged from a year earlier, a result of bumper crop. U.S. rice exports are projected to increase almost 5 percent to 3.25 million tons based on larger supplies and expectations of more competitive prices. These five countries are the largest rice exporters and account for about 80 percent of shipments.

In South America, Uruguay remains projected to export 950,000 tons of rice in 2015, up 50,000 tons from this year and second only to the 1.1 million tons shipped in 2012. Nearby Argentina is projected to export 600,000 tons of rice in 2015, unchanged from 2014. In addition to markets in South America, Argentina, and Uruguay ship rice to the Middle East. Paraguay is projected to export 260,000 tons of rice in 2015, up slightly from this year. Paraguay has sharply boosted rice production and exports since 2009, with Brazil buying most of its rice exports. All three of these countries export the bulk of their rice crop.

Brazil’s exports are projected to drop 50,000 tons to 800,000 tons in 2015, a result of a slightly smaller crop. Despite the decline, Brazil is projected to remain a net rice exporter in 2015. Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the EU are the top markets for Brazil’s rice exports. Guyana is projected to export 400,000 tons of rice in 2015, unchanged from the 2014 record and the result of steady production expansion. Venezuela has been a major market for Guyana’s rice since 2012.

Elsewhere, Egypt remains projected to export 875,000 tons of rice in 2015, an increase of 75,000 tons over this year, a result of a record crop and an expected lifting of the export ban. North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe are the major markets for Egypt’s rice. Australia is projected to ship 450,000 tons of rice in 2015, down 50,000 from this year, a result of tighter supplies. Both countries are major exporters of medium- and short-grain rice.

On the import side, starting with East Asia, China remains projected to import a record 3.7 million tons of rice in 2015, up 0.5 million tons from 2014. The increase is based on stronger demand, slight production growth, and much lower prices for imported rice than domestic rice. Vietnam is the largest supplier of rice to China. Burma, Pakistan, and Thailand also supply rice to China. Imports by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in 2015 are projected to be virtually unchanged from this year. Purchases by these three countries are the result of WTO commitments. The United States is a major supplier to these three markets.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s 2015 imports are projected to decline 0.5 million tons to 1.0 million tons based on adequate supplies. The Philippines’ 2015 imports are projected to decline 0.2 million tons to 1.6 million tons, also based on adequate supplies. Malaysia’s 2015 imports are projected to remain unchanged from 2014 at a record 1.1 million tons. Imports account for about 40 percent of Malaysia’s annual rice consumption, a much higher share than reported for other Asian rice producing countries.

South Asia’s rice imports are projected to decline 20 percent to 0.74 million tons. The region currently has no major importer and is the smallest importing region in Asia.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains projected to import a record 12.75 million tons of rice in 2015, up about 1 percent from a year earlier. Nigeria remains the largest importer in the region and the second largest global buyer of rice. In 2015, Nigeria is projected to import a record 3.5 million tons of rice, up 17 percent from a year earlier, a result of a smaller crop and rising demand. Cote d’Ivoire remains projected to import 1.2 million tons of rice in 2015, up 4 percent from this year. Senegal’s 2015 imports remain projected at 1.1 million tons, unchanged from this year. South Africa is projected to import 1.1 million tons of rice in 2015, unchanged from the year-earlier record. South Africa does not grow rice.

In the Western Hemisphere, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and the United States remain the largest importers, with both the United States and Brazil net exporters of rice. Mexico is projected to import a record 775,000 tons of rice in 2015. Imports account for more than 85 percent of Mexico’s rice consumption, and this share has increased in recent years. The United States supplies the bulk of Mexico’s rice imports, shipping mostly long-grain rough-rice. Brazil’s 2015 imports are projected at 0.7 million tons, unchanged from 2014. Brazil’s imports have shown no longterm growth over the past decade. Brazil purchases almost all of its imported rice from Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

U.S. rice imports in 2015 are projected at 0.7 million tons in 2015, unchanged from this year’s record. U.S. rice imports have more than doubled since 2000, with Thailand consistently the largest source. Cuba is the fourth largest import market in the region, projected to import 450,000 tons of rice in 2015, unchanged from 2014. Haiti is projected to import a near-record 410,000 tons of rice in 2015, nearly unchanged from 2013 and 2014. The United States supplies the bulk of Haiti’s rice imports.

In the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are all projected to increase imports in 2015. Imports account for about three-fourths of the region’s rice consumption, the highest share for any continent. EU rice imports are projected to increase 4 percent to 1.4 million tons.

The 2014 global trade forecast was lowered 0.1 million tons to 40.7 million tons, still 4 percent above a year earlier and the second highest on record. The only country-specific revision was a 0.1-million ton reduction in U.S. exports to 3.1 million tons based on slower than expected shipments this spring and expectations regarding sales the remainder of the calendar year. U.S. rice exports in 2014 are the lowest since 2009, a result of smaller supplies and a record price difference over Asian competitors.

Global rice trade in 2014 is largely driven by strong demand from Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and China. At 10.0 million tons, India remains the largest rice exporter, with exports just 0.48 million tons below the year earlier record. Thailand is projected to export 9.0 million tons of rice in 2014, up 2.3 million from 2013, a result of lower prices and Government sales of stored rice. Vietnam is the third largest exporter in 2014, with shipments projected at 6.5 million tons, down 0.2 million tons from 2013. Vietnam is facing more competition from Thailand in 2014. Pakistan’s exports are projected at near-record 3.9 million tons, up 0.3 million tons from 2013, a return to more normal level of production after 3 consecutive years of reduced production.

Thailand’s Prices Little Changed from Last Month; U.S. Prices Decline

Prices for medium and higher grades of Thailand’s regular-milled white rice have changed little since early May, as the Government still allows exporters to fulfill outstanding commitments by using rice purchased from sales of Government stocks that were approved prior to the coup. Prices for lower-quality grades of milled-rice shipments are up 2-3 percent from a month earlier. Prices for aromatic rice have changed little over the past month, while prices for parboiled rice are up slightly.

Prices for Thailand's high-quality, 100-percent Grade B (fob vessel, Bangkok) milled rice for export were quoted at $398 per ton for the week ending June 9, down $1 from the week ending May 5. Prices for Thailand’s 5-percent brokens were quoted at $381 per ton for the week ending June 9, up $2 from the week ending May 5. Prices for Thailand's 5-percent parboiled rice were quoted at $409 per ton for the week ending June 9, up $5 from the week ending May 5.

Prices for Thailand’s brokens are up 3 percent from early May. For the week ending June 9, prices for Thailand’s A-1 Super 100-percent brokens were quoted at $312 per ton, up $10 from the week ending May 5. Price quotes for Thailand’s premium jasmine rice, an aromatic variety, were quoted at $954 per ton for the week ending June 9, down $5 from the week ending May 5.

All price quotes for Thailand’s rice are from the Weekly Rice Price Update, reported by the USDA Office in Bangkok.

Price quotes from Vietnam have increased about 1 percent over the past month. For the week ending June 10, prices for Vietnam’s double-water-polished with 5- percent brokens were quoted at $400 per ton, up $5 from the week ending May 6. Prices had risen to as high as $410 in mid-May before falling by early June as sales slowed, partly a response to increased sales by Thailand. Thailand’s price quotes for 5-percent brokens are currently $19 per ton below quotes for Vietnam’s 5- percent double-water-polished milled rice, making Thailand a competitive seller. Thailand’s prices typically exceed prices for similar grades of rice from Vietnam by around $50 per ton.

U.S. prices for long-grain milled rice have declined slightly over the past month. For the week ending June 10, prices for high-quality U.S. Southern long-grain rice (No. 2, 4-percent brokens, bagged, free alongside vessel, U.S. Gulf port) were quoted at $579 per ton, down $5 from a month earlier. The U.S. price difference (adjusted to reflect a free-on-board vessel location) over Thailand’s 100-percent grade B is $196 per ton, down just $4 from the record of $200 reported last month and well above the long-term average of around $50 per ton. Prices for U.S. longgrain rough-rice (bulk, fob vessel, New Orleans) remain quoted at $380 per ton for the week ending June 9, unchanged since late September.

Prices for California milled rice for the U.S. market have also declined over the past month. California’s package-quality medium-grain rice (bulk) for domestic sales to processors and repackagers were quoted at $992 per ton for the week ending June 10, down $66 from early May. Export prices (sacked, port of Oakland) for California milled rice remain quoted at $1,175 per ton for the week ending June 10, unchanged from mid-March. Price quotes for Vietnam, U.S. long- and mediumgrain milled-rice prices, and U.S. rough-rice export prices are from the weekly Creed Rice Market Report.

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