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USDA GAIN: Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed


01 February 2012

USDA GAIN: Thailand Weekly Rice Price UpdateUSDA GAIN: Thailand Weekly Rice Price Update

Domestic and export prices remain weak as trading has gradually resumed after the Lunar New Year.
USDA GAIN Report - Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed

Report Highlights:

Most rice prices declined approximately 1.0 percent, except for parboiled rice. Also, the Government is considering the off-season crop Paddy Pledging Program which will likely accept rice at the same rate as the current main-crop Paddy Pledging Program.

Market Tone

Domestic and export prices remain weak as trading has gradually resumed after the Lunar New Year. Most white rice prices were offered approximately 1.0 percent lower than before the long holidays. Foreign buyers are shifting to Indian and Vietnamese rice which is $70-90/MT cheaper. Meanwhile, parboiled rice prices increased 1-2 percent as some African buyers are making enquiries for Thai parboiled to fulfill temporary demand caused by delays in shipments of Indian rice as a result of port congestion in India.

According to the meeting last week between the new Commerce Minister and some rice exporters, millers, and farmer representatives, the Paddy Pledging Program will be continued for the coming off-season crop, starting on March 1 and running through June 30, 2012, despite objection from rice exporters. The program is expected to be as aggressive as the current main-crop Paddy Pledging Program which set the intervention prices above the market prices with no limit restrictions on the amount of paddy that can be pledged. The details of the program will likely be finalized by next week.

Presently, the Government is holding old-crop intervention stocks of around 2.0 million tons. Meanwhile, the current Paddy Pledging Program has pledged a total of 5.8 million tons of paddy (3.8 million tons milled equivalent) from October 7, 2011 – January 29, 2012 (Table 2). This accounts for 26.9 percent of the expected total MY2011/12 main-crop production of 21-22 million tons of paddy (14.5 million tons milled equivalent). The Government expects the program will finally absorb only 7.0 million tons of paddy (4.6 million tons milled equivalent), by the end of the program in February 29, 2012, far below its initial target of 10.0 million tons of paddy.

Rice Export Update

Unofficial rice exports (excluding fragrant rice) for January 23-29, 2012 totaled 71,723 tons, up 22,290 tons from the previous week and up 87 tons from the four-week moving average of 71,636 tons. Exports of white rice and parboiled rice during January1 – 29, 2012 totaled 287,645 tons, down 60.2 percent from 722,820 tons in the previous year.

According to the Department of Foreign trade, Ministry of Commerce, total rice exports (including fragrant rice) during January 1 – 24, 2012 amounted to 290,625 tons, down 58.5 percent from 699,520 tons in the previous year.

February 2012

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