Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery settled 29 cents per cwt (about $6 per ton) lower at $10.570 per cwt (about $233 per ton). Rough rice futures fell off during afternoon trading, moving to a fresh multi-year low before recovering slightly by the ringing of the closing bell but remaining sharply lower on the day. Todayâ€™s market action adds to losses sustained earlier in the week and brings the total loss to 37.5 cents per cwt (about $8 per ton) as prices fell from their opening at $10.945 per cwt (about $241 per ton) on Monday to todayâ€™s closing level. The bearish outlook remains in place and expectations are for prices to test support at $10.500 per cwt (about $231 per ton) in early trading next week. The other grains also finished the day lower; Soybeans closed about 0.8% lower at $9.6100 per bushel; wheat finished about 1% lower at $5.0375 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.4% lower at $3.7000 per bushel.
U.S. stocks fell on Friday, readying equities for January losses, with investors on uncertain footing after U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter and Russia\'s central bank unexpectedly cut is benchmark interest rate. Already deep under water, stock futures retained stiff losses after the Commerce Department reported gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6% annual rate after the third quarter\'s 5% jaw-dropping pace. Analysts had projected the economy would expand at a 3% rate in the final quarter of 2014. U.S. stocks furthered their fall after the Greek government said it would not seekan extension of the bailout program with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 128 points, and was lately down 67.88 points, or 0.4%, to 17,348.97. The S&P 500 declined 5.58 points, or 0.3%, at 2,015.67; consumer staples led losses and telecommunications gains among its 10 major sectors. The Nasdaq wavered between gains and declines, lately down a points at 4,682.40. Gold is trading about 1.7% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 3.9% higher, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.1% higher at aboutÂ 1:00pm Chicago time.
Thursday, there were 2,630 contracts traded, up from 772 contracts traded on Wednesday. Open interest â€“ the number of contracts outstanding â€“ on Thursday increased by 694 contracts to 9,748.
The Oryza White Rice Index (WRI), a weighted average of global white rice export quotes, ended the week at about $422 per ton, down about $3 per ton from a week ago, down about $9 per ton from a month ago and down about $42 per ton from a year ago.
With Thailand still holding around 17 million tons of rice, competition among exporting nations is likely to grow, unless there is some production shortfall that changes the supply scenario. Along with the usual suspects â€“ Thailand, India, Vietnam, Pakistan, the U.S., and South America, Asian nations such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and South Korea are hoping to make further inroads on the export market. For destination markets, exporters are looking at China and Africa, setting a scene of potentially lower export quotes amid increasing competition.
Thailand 5% broken rice is today shown at about $405 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $5 per ton from a month ago, and down about $35 per ton from a year ago.
In 2014, Thailand exported about 10.97 million tons of rice, an increase of about 66% from 2013, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
Thailand offered the lowest bid in Iraqâ€™s Grain Board rice tender, offering a bid of $443.90 per ton (c&f basis).Â The IGB purchased about 80,000 tons from Thailand at this price.
Thailandâ€™s domestic auction to sell around one million tons of rice received an overwhelming response with nearly 100 bidders participating.
India 5% broken rice is today shown at about $400 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, up about $10 a month and down about $15 per ton from a year ago.
Basmati rice prices already declined by about 40% since last year to below $900 per ton, and are expected to decline further due to low export demand and increasing inventories.
Average wholesale rice prices, which have declined for two consecutive months due to increasing supplies from kharif crop harvests, have increased sharply in January 2015.Â Local sources attribute the increase to concerns about reduced output from the ongoing Rabi crop.
It is expected that Fiji will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India seeking support for revamping its rice sector.
The Indian government has adequate agricultural seeds for the 2015 kharif season, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The new zinc-enriched and high-yielding paddy rice variety BRRI-Dhan-64, developed by the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute, is being popularized among farmers in the ongoing boro crop season (January-May).
In Bangladesh, blockades of highways, railways, and waterways, which began on January 5, are causing ongoing problems to rice farmers and consumers, with farmers getting lower prices while consumers pay higher prices.
Vietnam 5% broken rice is today shown at about $360 per ton, down about $10 per ton from a week ago, down about $25 per ton from a month ago and down about $45 per ton from a year ago.
Vietnam exported about 65,780 tons of rice during the period from January 1 to January 22, down about 79% from the full month of January 2014 and down about 86% from December 2014.
The Institute for Agricultural Environment (IAE) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is promoting new and efficient rice farming techniques in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from wet rice production by 15%-20% by 2020.
Pakistan 5% broken rice is today shown at about $360 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago. down about $25 per ton from a month ago and down about $35 per ton from a year ago.
In the first six months of FY 2041-15 (July-June), Pakistan has exported about 1.7 million tons of rice worth $914.37 million, according to the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan.
The Senior Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry urged the Pakistan government to consider more rice exports to China.
Central & South America
Brazil 5% broken rice is today shown at about $540 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $10 per ton fromÂ a month ago and down about $125 per ton from a year ago.
Brazilâ€™s state agency, CONAB, announced that it will sell about 60,000 tons of Brazilian paddy rice from the previous crop, including 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 harvests, in four different auctions on January 29.
The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA) reached around 38.42 real per 50 kilograms as of January 26, 2015, up about 0.05% from around 38.4 real per 50 kilograms recorded on January 20, 2015.Â In terms of USD per ton, the index reached around $296 per ton on January 26, 2015, up about 1% from around $293 per ton recorded on January 20, 2015.
The USDA Post estimates that Argentina will export about 580,000 tons of milled rice in 2015, a decrease of about 3% from 2014 and down about 3% from official USDA estimates for 2015.
U.S. 4% broken rice is today shown at about $500 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $15 per ton from a month ago and down about $90 per ton from a year ago.
U.S. farmers and members of the Mississippi Congressional Delegation recently submitted a letter urging the Secretary of State to assist the U.S. rice farmers and exporters in enhancing rice exports to Iraq, which have been declining.
Chicago rough rice futures for March delivery hit a low of $10.705 per cwt ($236 per ton) on Wednesday, matching the cheapest price for futures since August 2010.Â However, news that Thailandâ€™s auction attracted record bids boosted futures after that, helping them gain the most in two weeks â€“ they reached $11.370 per cwt (about $251 per ton) on Thursday.Â They then continued to drop even lower, bottoming at $10.525 per cwt (about $232 per ton) before closing at $10.620 per cwt (about $234 per ton) on Friday, placing them back at 2010 levels.
The U.S. cash market was weaker this week, falling in tandem with the futures market.Â There was little-to-no trading to report.
Taiwan has imported about 9,100 tons of rice from the U.S. under the first tranche of 2015 Country Specific Quota (CSQ) Simultaneous Buy and Sell (SBS) tender.
Japan is considering increasing its tariff-free rice import quota from the U.S. as part of the efforts to push forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations that have been stalled due to an impasse between the U.S .and Japan over access to its farm markets, including rice.
Cambodia 5% broken rice is today shown at about $445 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week ago, down about $20 per ton from a month ago and down about $10 per ton from year ago. Â Separately, the Cambodian government is being urged to intervene in the rice and other agricultural commodities markets to stop prices from falling and ensure adequate returns to farmers.
The government of Myanmar plans to export about 2.5 million tons of rice in FY 2015-16 (April-March), up about 67% from FY 2014-15, according to the CEO of the Myanmar Rice Federation.
The National Food Authority (NFA) of the Philippines plans to import about 500,000 tons of rice for delivery by May 2015 in efforts to boost its stockpiles ahead of the lean season (June-August), according to Reuters.Â Buffer stocks with the NFA are enough for 12-13 days, slightly below the required norm of 15 days. Meanwhile, the NFA has decided to retain the paddy procurement price of about P17 per kilogram (about $390 per ton) but will provide more incentives to encourage farmers to sell their paddy to the agency. Separately, the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) plans to construct a new research facility to cater solely to studying the impacts of climate change on rice production.
Rice blast (Pyricularia Oryzae) has devastated paddy production in the region of Baixo Mondego, Portugal, where about 25% of total domestic rice production is concentrated, and rice farmers say about 30-70% of the 2014 crop has been lost.
Despite lower crude oil prices, rice farmers in Spain are complaining that the cost of fertilizers and herbicides for agriculture has been increasing over the last six months.
In 2014, Madagascar imported about 363,423 tons of rice, down about 11% from 2013.
According to the UNâ€™s Food and Agricultural Organization forecast, Mali 2014 paddy rice production will be about 2.3 million tons (about 1.55 million tons, basis milled), up about 4% from 2013.
South Korea will lift existing restrictions on rice exports this year, and the Agriculture Ministry is seeking revisions to existing laws and clauses in order to allow the government to export rice.Â The change is likely due to increased production in the country, while consumption continues to fall.
Senegal imported about 871,100 tons of rice in the first eleven months of 2014, up about 6% from the same period in 2013.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana ruled out a total rice import ban, saying the decision would violate the WTO rules.
The UNâ€™s FAO estimates Guineaâ€™s 2015 rice imports at around 320,000 tons, an increase of about 7% from 2014.Â The anticipated increase is due to shortfalls in 2014 production resulting from the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.
The new government in Sri Lanka has announced its plans to intervene in the rice market in order to ensure price stability in the market, according to a news release by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.
Ongoing political turmoil and consecutive payment problems are hindering rice purchases by a Libyan state grain buying agency through tenders, according to Reuters.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria stated that increasing imports of several products, including rice, are putting downward pressure on the countryâ€™s currency. More likely, falling crude prices have reduced foreign exchange available to fund imports such as rice.
The UNâ€™s FAO estimates Sierra Leoneâ€™s 2015 milled rice imports will be around 215,000 tons, up slightly from 2014.
The USDA Post estimates Australia may export around 400,000 tons of rice in 2015, down about 3% from an estimated 446,000 tons in 2014, due to an expected decline in production.
The government in China plans to increase production of grains, including rice, and their reserves, in efforts to improve food security in the country.
The U.S. cash market was considerably weaker today after it was announced that the Iraqi Grain Board overlooked U.S. origin once again. Â However, this time they chose instead to award 80,000 tons to Thailand which was roughly $170 per ton less expensive thanÂ the most attractive U.S. offer.
Many market participants were disappointed by the IGBâ€™s decision to pass on the U.S. due to the fact that insufficient export demand has driven prices lower although most conceded that in this instance their decision made sense, unlike the previous tender when they purchased more expensive South American paddy.
Chicago rough rice futures for Mar delivery settled 12.5 cents per cwt (about $3 per ton) higher at $10.860 per cwt (about $239 per ton). The other grains finished the day with mixed results; Soybeans closed about 0.2% lower at $9.6825 per bushel; wheat finished about 0.5% higher at $5.0875 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.5% lower at $3.7150 per bushel.
U.S. stocks gained on Thursday, bouncing back from a a two-day rout, as investors mulled earnings from corporations including Ford Motor and data that had a less-than-expected number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits. Stock futures added to gains after the Labor Department reported jobless claims dropped by 43,000 to 265,000 last week, fewer than forecast and the lowest number in nearly 15 years. However, the week included the Martin Luther King holiday, increasing the volatility of the numbers. Stocks offered muted reaction to another report that had pending-home sales dropping 3.7% in December. After falling as much as 55 points and rising 147, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lately up 128.47 points, or 0.7%, at 17,319.84. Reversing after a drop under 2,000, the S&P 500 added 7.33 points, or 0.4%, to 2,009.49, with utilities leading gains and energy the sole laggard among its 10 major sectors. The Nasdaq advanced 10.03 points, or 0.2%, to 4,647.96. Gold is trading about 2.4% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 1.4% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.4% higher at aboutÂ 1:30pm Chicago time.
Wednesday, there were 772 contracts traded, up from 412 contracts traded on Tuesday. Open interest â€“ the number of contracts outstanding â€“ on Wednesday increased by 6 contracts to 9,054.
The Cambodian government is being urged to intervene in the rice and other agricultural commodities markets to stop prices from falling and ensure adequate returns to farmers, according to local sources.
In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, a group of opposition leaders noted that declining prices of rice, rubber and mung beans have been significantly impacting the lives of the farmers. They noted that the prices of these commodities are influenced by middlemen and traders from Vietnam and Thailand. They often collude with each other and lower prices, they said.
They added that farmers are having less bargaining power especially during harvest time and are therefore forced to sell their output at offered prices to repay loans taken for planting purposes.
The opposition leaders urged the Prime Minister and the government to come up with good intervention policies and financing options to protect farmers\' interests. They noted thatÂ a good coordination between the concerned Ministries to develop policies in that direction. Particularly, investments in processing industry and rural banking sector.
The Spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce responded to the opposition leaders\' concerns saying that the Ministry has been doing its ground work to match the provincial agricultural facilities with international standards. However, it would take time for the results to be visible, he added.
USDA estimates Cambodia MY 2014-15 (January 2015 - December 2015) paddy rice production at around 7.656 million tons (around 4.9 million tons, milled basis), up about 4% from around 7.383 million tons (around 4.725 million tons, milled basis) in MY 2013-14. It estimates Cambodia to export around 1.2 million tons of rice in 2015 (including official exports and unofficial exports to Vietnam and Thailand), up about 20% from an estimated 1 million tons in 2014.Â
India average wholesale rice prices, which have declined for two consecutive months of November and December 2014 due to increasing supplies from harvests of the kharif main rice crop (June - December), have reversed in January 2015, according to official sources. The increase in prices could be attributed to concerns of reduced output from the ongoing Rabi crop (November - March). The Indian government is yet to release the second advance estimated of 2014-15 (October â€“ September) rice production, including from both kharif and rabi.
Average monthly wholesale rice prices in India increased to around Rs.2,836 per quintal in January 2015, up about 4% from around Rs.2,730 per quintal in December 2014, and up about 4% from their year-ago levels of around Rs.2,720 per quintal.
In terms of USD per ton, wholesale rice prices in India stand at around $461 per ton (using current exchange rates) in January 2015, up about 8% from around $426 per ton (using historical exchange rates) in December 2014, and up about 7% from around $432 per ton (using historical exchange rates) in January 2014. Â Â Â Â
Average wholesale rice prices increased sharply between July and August 2014 due to delayed monsoons and fears of lower production in 2014-15 crop year (October 2014 - September 2015). The Indian government also lowered its estimates for 2014-15Â kharif rice production to around 88.02 million tons, down about 4% from around 91.69 million tons produced during the same time in 2013-14, according to a statement from the Agriculture Ministry in September 2014.
USDA estimates India\'s 2014-15 (October - September) production at around 102Â million tons, down about 4% from an estimated 106.54 million tons in 2013-14. It estimates Indiaâ€™s rice exports to decline about 16% y/y to around 8.7 million tons in 2015 from an estimated 10.3 million tons in 2014.
Blockades of highways, railways and waterways, which began on January 5, 2015, are reportedly continuing causing several problems to rice farmers as well as consumers, according to local sources. While farmers are getting low prices, consumers are having to pay much higher prices.
Farmers who have just completed harvesting of the 2014 Aman rice crop (May - December) are expressing concerns of receiving lower prices to their output due to the ongoing blockades.
For instance, movement of rice and other commodities from Rangpur to parts of the country have been suspended for a long time due to the blockades. While rice farmers from about eight districts of the Rangpur division harvested a good amount of paddy in this Aman season from about one million hectares of land, they are not able to transport their paddy to other markets where they can get better prices.
Middlemen and traders are reportedly taking advantage of situation and offering much lower prices to farmers. Farmers told local sources that prices have dropped from about Tk 710-730 per maund/40 kilograms (around $230-$236 per ton) before blockades to around Tk 640-650 per maund/40 kilograms (around $207-$210 per ton). Most of the farmers are worried if they could get enough money to fulfil their financial commitments and retain some funds for next season planting.
The situation is quite opposite in the wholesale and retail markets. Due to transportation problems, wholesale rice prices in of different varieties of rice increased by about TkÂ 25 - Tk 100 per 50 kilogram (around $6.4 - $25.7 per ton) in markets across the country. Currently, coarse rice variety is selling at around Tk 36-37 per kilogram ($460 - $480 per ton), fine rice is selling at around Tk 48-52 per kilogram ($620 - $670 per ton) and medium variety is selling at Tk 38-40 per kilogram (around $490 - $510 per ton).Â
The Senior Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) urged the Pakistan government to consider more rice exports to China keeping in view of the good relations between the two countries, according to local sources.
He told local sources that there is a lot of demand for Pakistani rice in China and Pakistan is capable of exporting about 600,000 - 700,000 tons of rice to China. Pakistan exported around 353,675 tons of rice worth $128 million to China in FY 2013-14 (July - June). But considering the reputation of Pakistani rice in China, the FPCCI Official, Pakistan government can negotiate with the Chinese authorities to import an additional 200,000 tons of rice from Pakistan yearly. He noted that he is hopeful that China would honour their request due to a large domestic demand for rice.
China imported around 2.267 million tons of riceÂ in 2013, and around 2.244 million tons of rice in the first eleven months (January - November) of 2014, according to data from China Customs General Administration.
On the other hand, Pakistan exported around 3.16 million tons of rice FY 2013-14, down about 7% from around 3.4 million tons exported in 2012-13. The South Asian country exported around 1.84 million tons of rice (around 278,973 tons of basmati and around 1.56 million tons of non-basmati) in the first six months of FY 2014-15.