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USDA Rice Outlook


15 July 2014

USDA Rice Outlook - 15 July 2014USDA Rice Outlook - 15 July 2014


USDA Rice Outlook

U.S. 2014/15 Rice Crop Forecast at 226.0 Million Cwt

The first survey of actual 2014/15 U.S. rice plantings indicates total area at 3.05 million acres, up 6 percent from the March intended plantings and 22 percent above a year earlier. The higher area boosted the production forecast 6 percent to 226.0 million cwt, the largest U.S. crop since 2010/11. Long-grain accounts for all of the expected U.S. production increase in 2014/15. The 2014/15 average yield is projected at 7,469 pounds per acre, virtually unchanged from last month but down 3 percent from the year-earlier record.

Despite heavy rains and cooler than normal temperatures early in the season in much of the South, the U.S. crop progress is ahead of normal in both the Delta and California, but behind in Texas. For the week ending July 6, crop conditions were reported higher than last year across the South.

Total U.S. supplies of rice in 2014/15 are projected at 279.8 million cwt, up 12.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 12 percent above a year earlier. The beginning stocks forecast was raised slightly while the import forecast was lowered. The total use forecast was raised 10.0 million cwt to 240.0 million cwt, with both exports and total domestic and residual use raised 5.0 million cwt. These revisions resulted in a 2.5-million cwt increase in the 2014/15 ending stocks forecast to 39.8 million cwt.

The 2014/15 season-average farm price (SAFP) range for U.S. long-grain rice was lowered 80 cents per cwt on both the high and low end to $12.00-$13.00 per cwt, down from $15.40 in 2013/14. The combined medium- and short-grain 2014/15 U.S. SAFP range was reduced $1.20 per cwt on both the high- and low-end to $17.00-$18.00 per cwt, compared with $17.80 per cwt in 2013/14. 

Global rice production for 2014/15 is forecast at a record 479.4 million tons (milled basis), down 1.3 million tons from last month’s forecast, but still up almost 2.0 million tons from 2013/14 and the largest crop on record. Crop forecasts were lowered for India and Australia, but raised for Vietnam and the United States. Global rice consumption and residual use in 2014/15 is projected at a record 482.4 million tons. Ending stocks are forecast to decline 3 percent to 108.5 million tons, the first decline in ending stocks since 2006/07.

The 2015 global trade forecast was raised 0.25 million tons to a record 41.5 million tons, with the United States accounting for all of the upward revision in exports. On the 2015 import side, Vietnam’s and Pakistan’s import forecasts were raised, while the Philippines 2015 import forecast was lowered. Thailand is projected to be the largest exporter in 2015, followed by India. China and Nigeria are projected to be the largest rice importers in 2015.

Prices for all grades of Thailand’s regular-milled white rice have increased 4-5 percent since early June. Price quotes from Vietnam have increased 2-3 percent over the past month. In contrast, prices for U.S. long-grain milled rice and U.S. medium-grain rice have declined over the past month.

Domestic Outlook

  U.S. 2014/15 Rice Plantings Reported at 3.05 Million Acres

U.S. rice plantings in 2014/15 are estimated at 3.05 million acres, up 6 percent from the March intended plantings and 22 percent above a year earlier. The substantial year-to-year increase was largely the result of higher prices and more normal weather in the South. In 2013/14, heavy rains early in the season prevented the planting of almost 300,000 acres of rice, mostly in the Delta.

Long-grain plantings are estimated at 2.33 million acres, up 5 percent from the March intentions and 31 percent larger than a year earlier. These are the largest U.S. long-grain plantings since 2010/11. Almost all U.S. long-grain rice is grown in the South.

Combined medium- and short-grain plantings are estimated at 716,000 acres, up 10 percent from the March intended plantings and 1 percent higher than a year earlier. All of this year’s area expansion occurred in the South, with Arkansas accounting for the bulk of the expansion. California typically accounts for more than twothirds of U.S. medium- and short-grain production.

Rice plantings increased in 2014/15 in all reported southern States except Texas, with Arkansas accounting for the bulk expansion in rice area. Rice plantings in Arkansas increased 46 percent to 1.57 million acres, the highest since the 2010/11 record of 1.8 million acres. Area expanded for both long-grain and medium-grain rice in Arkansas. Mississippi expanded rice area 36 percent to 170,000 acres, also the highest since 2010/11. Rice plantings in Missouri of 216,000 acres were up 36 percent from a year earlier. On the Gulf Coast, Louisiana’s 2014/15 rice area increased 9 percent to 455,000 acres. In contrast, rice plantings in Texas declined more than 3 percent to 140,000 acres, a result of a third consecutive year of water restrictions.

Severe drought, low reservoir levels, and water restrictions caused California rice plantings to decline nearly 13 percent in 2014/15 to 495,000 acres, the smallest since 2001/02. Although a significant decline, the area contraction was less than the 20 percent indicated in March as water restrictions were less severe than earlier anticipated. The rice area estimates are based on a survey of actual plantings conducted in early June. The results were released in the June NASS Acreage report.

U.S. 2014/15 Rice Crop Forecast at 226.0 Million Cwt

The U.S. 2014/15 rice crop is forecast at 226.0 million cwt, an increase of 6 percent from last month’s forecast and 19 percent larger than a year earlier. This is the largest U.S. rice crop since the record 243.1 million cwt was harvested in 2010/11. Long-grain production is forecast at 169.0 million cwt, up 5 percent from the previous forecast and 28 percent larger than a year earlier. Combined medium- and short-grain production is projected at 57.0 million cwt, a 10-percent increase from last month’s forecast but almost 2 percent smaller than a year earlier.

All of this year’s production increase was the result of an area expansion. In contrast, the 2014/15 average yield is projected at 7,469 pounds per acre, virtually unchanged from last month’s forecast but down 3 percent from a year earlier. The 2014/15 yield is the second highest on record. The yield forecast is based on 1990- 2013 trend yields by class and reflects the smaller-than-normal 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.

Despite heavy rains and cooler than normal temperatures early in the season in much of the South, the U.S. crop progress is ahead of normal in both the Delta and California, but behind in Texas. For the week ending July 6, 17 percent of the U.S. rice crop was heading, well ahead of 9 percent last year and slightly ahead of the U.S. 5-year average of 14 percent. In Arkansas, 11 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was reported heading by July 6, up from a 5-year average of 7 percent. The State continues to receive substantial rain. Missouri reported 5 percent of its 2014/15 rice crop heading for the week ending July 6, compared with a 5-year average of 1 percent. In 2013/14, none of the rice crop in Arkansas or Missouri had started heading by July 6 due to late planting. Four percent of Mississippi’s crop was reported heading by July 6, up from 2 percent last year, but well behind the State’s 5-year average of 15 percent. Like Arkansas, both Mississippi and Missouri have received above-normal rainfall and cooler than normal temperatures this season.

On the Gulf Coast, 57 percent of Louisiana’s 2014/15 rice crop was heading by July 6, ahead of 44 percent a year-earlier and the State’s 5-year average of 49 percent. In Texas, 20 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was reported heading by July 6, well behind 46 percent last year and the State’s average of 42 percent. Progress in Texas has been slowed by rain. Despite a slow start to the season, 6 percent of California’s 2014/15 crop was reported heading by July 6. Temperatures have been warmer than normal this season in California. Heading does not typically begin in California until late July.

For the week ending July 6, crop conditions were reported ahead of last year across the South. For the United States, 70 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 1 percentage point from both a year earlier and early June. In Arkansas, 62 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, 1 percentage point above a year earlier, but slightly below ratings in early June. Eighty-two percent of Mississippi’s 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, well ahead of 67 percent a year earlier. In Missouri, 65 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, 6 percentage points higher than a year earlier.

Crop conditions were slightly higher than a year earlier on the Gulf Coast as well. In Louisiana, 80 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition for the week ending July 6, up from 75 percent a year earlier. Fifty-three percent of the Texas rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition, up 3 percentage points from a year earlier. In California, 80 percent of the 2014/15 rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition for the week ending July 6, behind last year’s record 95 percent.

U.S. Rice Supplies in 2014/15 Projected to Increase 12 Percent

Total U.S. supplies of rice in 2014/15 are projected at 279.8 million cwt, up 12.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 12 percent above a year earlier. Total supplies are the largest since the record of 297.9 million cwt reported in 2010/11. In 2014/15, a much larger crop and a slightly larger carryin are expected to more than offset weaker imports. By class, long-grain supplies are projected at 206.8 million cwt, up 7.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 19 percent larger than a year earlier. Medium- and short-grain total supplies are projected at 70.7 million cwt, an increase of 5.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast, but down 4 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 0.5 million cwt to 32.8 million cwt, still 10 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 remains forecast at 19.3 million cwt, 12 percent smaller than a year earlier and the smallest since 2008/09. The medium- and short-grain carryin forecast was increased 0.5 million cwt to 11.2 million cwt, still 8 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 are projected at 21.0 million cwt, a 1.0-million cwt reduction in the previous forecast and 9 percent below the year-earlier revised forecast. This month’s downward revision was based on a larger U.S. crop and expectations of more broken kernels resulting from increased millings. In 2013/14, about 2 million cwt of brokens have been imported due to tight U.S. supplies of brokens. Long-grain imports are projected at 18.5 million cwt, down 0.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 5 percent below a year earlier. Thailand is expected to again supply more than 70 percent of U.S. long-grain imports, shipping mostly 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 are projected at 2.5 million cwt, down 0.5 million cwt from the June forecast and almost 29 percent below a year earlier. 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 Export Forecast Raised to 107.0 Million Cwt

Total use of U.S. rice in 2014/15 is projected at 240.0 million cwt, up 10.0 million from last month’s forecast and 14 percent larger than a year earlier’s revised forecast. Both total domestic use (including a residual component) and exports are projected to be larger than a year earlier. Total long-grain use in 2014/15 is projected at 178.0 million cwt, an increase of 5.0 million from last month’s forecast and 16 percent larger than a year earlier. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, total use is projected at 62.0 million cwt, also up 5.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast, but down almost 1 percent from a year earlier.

Total domestic and residual use of all rice in 2014/15 is projected at 133.0 million cwt, up 5.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 8 percent larger than a year earlier. The upward revision is primarily based on expectations of a larger residual component associated with the higher crop forecast. Long-grain domestic and residual use is projected at 103.0 million cwt, up 2.0 million cwt from the prior forecast and 13 percent above a year earlier. Long-grain domestic and residual in 2014/15 is second only to the record 108.6 reported in 2010/11. Combined medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use is forecast at 30.0 million cwt, up 3.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast but still 6 percent below a year earlier. The year-to-year decline is largely based on smaller U.S. supplies.

Total exports in 2014/15 are projected at 107.0 million cwt, up 5.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 14 percent larger than a year earlier. The monthly revision is primarily based on larger supplies and a lower U.S. price forecast. On an annual basis, U.S. rice is expected to be more price competitive with Asian exporters, likely boosting U.S. sales to the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, two key markets where the United States competes with Asian exporters.

U.S. long-grain exports are projected at 75.0 million cwt, up 3.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 19 percent above a year earlier. U.S. long-grain prices are projected to be lower in 2014/15, a major factor driving the projected increase in U.S. exports. The Western Hemisphere is the largest export market for U.S. longgrain 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. long-grain rice.

Combined medium- and short-grain U.S. exports in 2014/15 are projected at 32.0 million cwt, up 2.0 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 5 percent larger than a year earlier. Northeast Asia and the Middle East (including North Africa) account for the bulk of U.S. medium- and short-grain exports and are expected to account for most of the increase.

By type, U.S. rough-rice exports remain projected at 34.0 million cwt, up 13 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 73.0 million cwt, up 5.0 million cwt from the previous forecast and 15 percent larger than a year earlier. Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Haiti, Canada, and Sub- Saharan Africa are the largest markets for U.S. milled rice exports. The expected increase is based on a much smaller U.S. price difference over Asian competitors.

U.S. ending stocks of all rice in 2014/15 are projected at 39.8 million cwt, up 2.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast and 21 percent larger than a year earlier. The stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 16.6 percent, up from a revised 15.2 percent in 2013/14. By class, the 2014/15 U.S. long-grain carryout is projected at 28.8 7 Rice Outlook/RCS-14g/July 15, 2014 Economic Research Service, USDA million cwt, 2.5 million cwt above last month’s forecast and 49 percent larger than a year earlier. These are the largest U.S. long-grain ending stocks since 2010/11. Expectations of ending stocks of this level will likely pressure prices lower during the market year. The long-grain stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 16.2 percent, up from 12.5 percent in 2013/14.

The medium- and short-grain carryout remains projected at 8.7 million cwt, 22 percent smaller than a year earlier. These are the lowest ending stocks of mediumand short-grain rice since 2008/09.The medium- and short-grain stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 14.0 percent, down from 17.9 percent in 2013/14

2013/14 U.S. Export Forecast Raised to 93.5 Million Cwt

There was only one revision to the 2013/14 supply-side estimates this month: the 2013/14 import forecast was raised 1.0 million cwt to 23.0 million cwt, with longgrain accounting for all of the increase. The upward revision was largely based on the unanticipated U.S. importation of about 1.0 million cwt of brokens from Thailand in May.

On the use side, the 2013/14 U.S. export forecast was raised 1.5 million cwt to 93.5 million cwt based on shipment data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau through May, shipment and sales data reported in the weekly U.S. Export Sales through June 26, and expectations regarding shipments for the remainder of the market year. Sales to the Middle East were stronger than expected over the past month.

Combined milled- and brown-rice exports (on a rough-rice basis) were revised up 3.0 million cwt to 63.5 million cwt, while U.S. rough-rice exports were lowered 1.5 million cwt from last month’s forecast to 30.0 million cwt. Sales to Central America—a major market for U.S. rough-rice—remain behind a year earlier. By class, U.S. 2013/14 long-grain exports were raised 1.0 million cwt to 63.0 million cwt and combined medium- and short-grain U.S. exports were raised 0.5 million cwt to 30.5 million. Despite the upward revision, these are the smallest mediumand short-grain U.S. rice exports since 2008/09.

The 2013/14 total domestic and residual use forecast was lowered 1.0 million cwt to 123.0 million cwt, based on data from the June Rice Stocks report indicating slightly lower than previously expected August-May domestic disappearance. Medium- and short-grain accounted for all of the downward revision in the 2013/14 domestic and residual use forecast.

On balance, these revisions increased total U.S. ending rice stocks 0.5 million cwt to 32.8 million cwt, with medium- and short-grain accounting for all of the upward revision in ending stocks.

Data from the June 30 Rice Stocks indicate U.S. rice stocks on June 1, 2014 were 58.6 million cwt (sum of both milled- and rough-rice stocks converted to rough basis), slightly higher than expectations. There was no NASS survey of June 1, 2013, U.S. rice stocks for any year-to-year comparison. Last year’s June Rice Stocks report was dropped by NASS due to budget constraints. Rough-rice accounted for the bulk of the rice stocks reported on June 1. Milled rice typically accounts for a small share of U.S. rice stocks. Arkansas accounted for almost half of all U.S. rice stocks, with its June 1 stocks estimated at 26.1 million cwt. California’s June 1 stocks are estimated at 19.8 million cwt. The bulk of the U.S. medium-grain stocks are in California. Rice stocks in Texas were estimated at 4.6 million cwt. Stocks in nearby Louisiana are estimated at 4.2 million cwt. Missouri’s stocks are estimated at 2.4 million cwt and Mississippi’s stocks are estimated at 1.6 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 $12.00-$13.00 per cwt, down 80 cents on both the high and low end from last month’s forecast. The 2014/15 SAFP for long-grain rice is below the $15.40 per cwt forecast for 2013/14 and is the lowest since 2010/11. The downward revision was largely due to the larger crop forecast this month. On a year-to-year basis, the expected decline is based on larger U.S. supplies and expectations of lower trading prices. The current 2013/14 SAFP is now a point estimate that was the midpoint of the previous price range.

The combined medium- and short-grain 2014/15 U.S. SAFP range is projected at $17.00-$18.00 per cwt, down $1.20 on both the high and low ends from last month’s range. This compares with a revised $17.80 per cwt for 2013/14. In 2014/15, a larger share of the U.S. medium- and short-grain crop will come from the South, where it typically sells at a lower price than California medium- and short-grain rice. The current 2013/14 SAFP forecast is 10 cents above the midpoint of the previous price range. The slight increase was based on monthly cash prices and marketings through May and expectations of prices and marketings the remainder of the market year.

In late June, NASS reported a mid-June U.S. long-grain rough-rice price of $15.80 per cwt, up 30 cents from the revised May estimate. The mid-June long-grain price is the highest since December 2008. The May price was lowered 20 cents to $15.50 from a preliminary $15.70. For combined medium- and short-grain rice, the mid- June NASS price was reported at $18.70 per cwt, up 30 cents from the May price. The May price of $18.40 per cwt is 50 cents below the preliminary price of $18.90 per cwt.

International Outlook

India’s 2014/15 Rice Production Forecast Lowered 2.0 Million Tons to 104.0 Million Tons

Global rice production for 2014/15 is forecast at 479.4 million tons (milled basis), down 1.3 million tons from last month’s forecast, but still up almost 2.0 million tons from 2013/14 and the largest crop on record. East Asia and Southeast Asia are projected to harvest record crops in 2014/15. Sub-Saharan Africa’s production is projected to be a near record. In contrast, rice production in South Asia is projected to decline 1.5 percent, mostly due to a smaller crop in India.

The record global crop in 2014/15 is the result of expanded area. At a record 161.5 million hectares, global rice area in 2014/15 is up 0.9 million hectares from a year earlier. The average global yield, forecast at 4.43 tons per hectare (on a rough-rice basis), is unchanged from 2013/14 and just fractionally below the 2012/13 record of 4.45 tons.

There were two downward production revisions for 2014/15 this month. First, India’s 2014/15 rice production forecast was lowered 2.0 million tons to 104.0 million based on a delayed and weak monsoon that has reduced both area and yield forecasts. About half of India’s kharif crop relies on flooding from the monsoon, making India’s rice crop very dependent on the timing and duration of the rains. The kharif crop accounts for about 85 percent of India’s annual rice production. The 2014/15 India rice crop is projected to be 2 percent below the year-earlier record, a result of a lower yield.

In addition, Australia’s 2014/15 crop (to be harvested next May-June) was lowered 114,000 tons to 576,000 tons due to a smaller area forecast. The area forecast was lowered 20,000 hectares to 80,000 hectares based on reduced reservoir levels. Both India and Australia are rice exporters, with India currently the largest exporter.

These two production reductions were partially offset by three upward revisions. First, Vietnam’s 2014/15 production forecast was raised 400,000 tons to a record 28.2 million tons based on a larger winter-spring crop reported by the U.S. Agricultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City. The larger winter-spring crop raised the yield to a record 5.8 tons per hectare. The 2014/15 upward revision was based on back-year revisions to the winter-spring crop made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Second, the U.S. 2014/15 production forecast was raised 416,000 tons to 7.23 million tons based on a higher area estimate reported by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Finally, Kazakhstan’s 2014/15 crop was increased 12,000 tons to 237,000 tons based on a larger area forecast reported by the Government. Area is up 7 percent from a year earlier and production is 6 percent higher than last year.

Global rice production in 2013/14 remains forecast at 477.5 million tons, up 5.8 million tons from a year earlier and the second largest crop on record. Two upward revisions were nearly offset by three reductions. On an annual basis, South Asia and Southeast Asia account for most of the increase in global production in 2013/14.

Vietnam’s 2013/14 production forecast was raised 200,000 tons to 28.0 million tons based on a larger winter-spring crop reported by the Government of Vietnam. The yield was raised, while the area forecast was reduced. Vietnam’s production in 2013/14 is the second highest on record. In addition, Argentina’s 2013/14 production forecast was raised 19,000 tons to 1.03 million tons based on a higher yield.

There were three downward revisions. First, Brazil’s 2013/14 production forecast was lowered 100,000 tons to 8.5 million based on slightly lower area. Second, the Philippines production was lowered 77,000 tons to 11.8 million tons based on Bureau of Agricultural Statistics data indicating a slightly smaller area. Third, Australia’s 2013/14 crop forecast was lowered 59,000 tons to 594,000 tons due to a lower area forecast reported by ABARE.

Global rice consumption and residual use in 2014/15 is projected at a record 482.4 million tons, up 0.2 million from last month’s forecast and more than 1 percent larger than a year earlier. Consumption (including the residual) exceeds production in 2014/15 by almost 3 million tons. Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States account for the bulk of the projected increase in global consumption and residual use in 2014/15.

Global ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected at 108.5 million tons, down 2.1 million tons from last month’s forecast and almost 3 percent below a year earlier and the first decline since 2006/07. China and India account for most of this month’s downward revision in the 2014/15 global ending stocks forecast. In contrast, U.S. ending stocks were revised up slightly. On an annual basis, China and India account for most of the expected decline in global ending stocks in 2014/15. Thailand’s ending stocks are projected to remain at a near-record high, and U.S. ending stocks are projected to increase 20 percent. The global stocks-to-use ratio for 2014/15 is calculated at 22.5 percent, down from 23.4 percent a year earlier.

U.S. 2015 Rice Export Forecast Raised to 3.5 Million Tons

Total calendar year 2015 global rice trade is forecast at a record 41.5 million tons, up 0.25 million tons from the previous forecast and almost 2 percent higher than 2014. The expected increase in trade in 2015 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.

The only 2015 export revision this month is a 0.25-million tons increase in U.S. exports to 3.5 million tons, up 11 percent from a year earlier and the highest since 2010. This month’s upward revision was based on a larger supply forecast and lower expected U.S. prices. In addition, the U.S. is expected to be more competitively priced with Asian exporters, likely increasing U.S. sales to Sub- Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

On an annual basis, Thailand is projected to replace India as the largest rice exporter, shipping 10.0 million tons, an increase of 11 percent from 2014 and the highest since the record of 10.6 million was shipped in 2011. The projected increase in 2015 is based on more competitive prices and abundant supplies. In contrast, India is projected to reduce exports 10 percent to 9.0 million tons in 2015, a result of tighter supplies and higher domestic use. The number three exporter in 2015 is Vietnam, projected to ship 6.7 million tons of rice in 2015, a 3-percent increase from a year earlier. Vietnam’s supplies in 2014/15 are projected to be the highest on record, while little—if any— growth in consumption is expected.

There were several 2015 import revisions this month, mostly in Asia or Sub- Saharan Africa. In Asia, Vietnam’s 2015 import forecast was raised 0.1 million tons to 0.4 million tons based on increased imports from Cambodia to offset Vietnam’s record shipments to China. These are the largest rice imports for Vietnam since the record of 0.5 million tons were imported in 2011. In addition, Pakistan’s 2015 imports were raised from zero to 30,000 tons based on likely continued donations at the 2014 level. In contrast, the Philippines’ import forecast was lowered 200,000 tons to 1.6 million tons based on recommendations from the USDA Agricultural Office in Manila.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Mozambique’s 2015 import forecast was raised 45,000 tons to a record 520,000 tons based on revised 2014 import forecasts. Cameroon’s 2015 import forecast was increased 25,000 tons to a near-record 525,000 tons, also based on revised 2014 trade revisions. Finally, Mauritania’s 2015 rice import forecast was raised 10,000 tons to 110,000 tons to match consumption growth. The only import revision outside Asia or Africa was a 30,000-ton reduction in the U.S. 2015 import forecast to 670,000 tons based on a larger U.S. crop.

On an annual basis, China is projected to import a record 3.7 million tons in 2015, up 16 percent from 2014. High domestic prices, slow production growth, and rising use are the main factors driving China’s rice imports. The number 2 rice-importer, Nigeria, is projected to import 3.5 million tons in 2015, an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier and the highest on record. Despite long-term efforts to raise rice area and yields, production has not kept pace with consumption growth in Nigeria. Although the Philippines are projected to harvest a record crop in 2014/15, imports are projected to increase 10 percent in 2015 to 1.6 million tons, the highest since 2010. In contrast, Indonesia’s 2015 imports are projected to decline 33 percent to 1.0 million tons. Since 2009/10, production growth has slightly outpaced consumption in Indonesia.

The 2014 global trade forecast was raised 0.15 million tons to 40.8 million tons, 3.5 percent above a year earlier and the second highest on record.There were two 2014 export revisions this month, both in the Western Hemisphere. First, Brazil’s 2014 export forecast was raised 100,000 tons to 950,000 tons based on strong sales and shipments to Latin America. Second, the U.S. 2014 export forecast was raised 50,000 tons to 3.15 million based on larger supplies and expectations of lower prices.

There were several 2014 import revisions this month. The largest was a 0.55- million ton reduction in the Philippines’ 2014 import forecast to 1.45 million tons based on recommendations from the USDA Agricultural Office in Manila. The remaining revisions were much smaller, with several in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, Mozambique’s imports were raised 30,000 tons to 500,000 tons based on stronger 2013 imports. Second, Cameroon’s 2014 imports were increased 25,000 tons to 525,000 tons based on trade data. Finally, Mauritania’s 2014 imports increased 10,000 tons to 110,000 tons, based on the need to keep up with consumption growth.

In other regions, Azerbaijan’s 2014 rice imports were increased 40,000 tons to 75,000 tons based on stronger imports in 2012 and 2013. The U.S. 2014 import forecast was raised 30,000 tons to a record 730,000 tons based on shipment data through May and expectations regarding imports for the remainder of the year. And last, Saudi Arabia’s 2014 import forecast was increased 25,000 tons to 1.325 million tons to be in line with 2013 revised trade.

There were several revisions to 2013 trade estimates based on year-end shipment data from Pakistan and Egypt, with global 2013 rice trade increased 0.43 million tons to 39.4 million tons. Pakistan’s 2013 export estimate was increased 526,000 tons to a record 4.13 million tons. In contrast, Egypt’s 2013 exports were lowered 150,000 tons to 700,000 tons. Imports were revised for several countries based on the revised export data, with Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East accounting for most of the import changes.

Thailand’s Prices Increase While U.S. Prices Decline

Prices for all grades of Thailand’s regular-milled white rice have increased 4-5 percent since early June due to tight supplies of exportable rice caused by the military Government’s decision to halt the movement of Government rice stocks from storage warehouses until the inspection of rice quantity and quality is completed. Prices for aromatic rice and parboiled rice have also increased over the past month.

Prices for Thailand's high-quality, 100-percent Grade B (fob vessel, Bangkok) milled rice for export were quoted at $415 per ton for the week ending July 7, up $17 from the week ending June 9.

Prices for Thailand’s 5-percent brokens were quoted at $398 per ton for the week ending July 7, also up $17 from the week ending June 9. Prices for Thailand's 5-percent parboiled rice were quoted at $423 per ton for the week ending July 7, up $14 from the week ending June 9.Prices for Thailand’s brokens are up 5 percent from early June. For the week ending July 7, prices for Thailand’s A-1 Super 100-percent brokens were quoted at $328 per ton, up $16 from the week ending June 9.Price quotes for Thailand’s premium jasmine rice, an aromatic variety, were quoted at $995 per ton for the week ending July 7, up $41 from the week ending June 9. 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 2-3 percent over the past month. For the week ending July 8, prices for Vietnam’s double-water-polished with 5-percent brokens were quoted at $410 per ton, up $10 from the week ending June 10. Sales to China and Southeast Asia have been especially strong. Thailand’s price quotes for 5-percent brokens are currently $12 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 over the past month. For the week ending July 8, 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 $557 per ton, down $22 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 $157 per ton, down $37 from a month earlier and the lowest since August 2013. Prices for U.S. long-grain rough-rice (bulk, fob vessel, New Orleans) were quoted at $365 per ton for the week ending July 8, down $15 from a month earlier.

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 $948 per ton for the week ending July 8, down $44 from both a week and a month earlier. Export prices (sacked, port of Oakland) for California milled rice were quoted at $1,130 per ton for the week ending July 8, down $45 from both a week and a month earlier. Price quotes for Vietnam, U.S. long- and medium-grain milled-rice, and U.S. rough-rice export prices are from the weekly Creed Rice Market Report. 

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