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.
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.