Plastic rice made by mixing potatoes, sweet potatoes and Chinese polymer is similar to natural rice and can hardly be differentiated by mere look. However, when cooked, the rice remains hard and soup made by it forms a plastic sheath, which burns like plastics when burned.
How is this rice made? The potatoes are first turned into the shape of rice grains and industrial synthetic resins are then added to the mix in order to get the texture of rice.
This type of plastic rice is said to be causing gastritis and other stomach related diseases.
Such type of rice packages have been found to be selling in some parts of India\'s southern state Kerala, according to local sources.
Consumers told local sources that such packages are undetectable as they are being mixed with normal rice packs. It is understood that this type of rice is being imported from China or is being bought online from Chinese and Singapore supermarkets.
Experts noted that currently there\'s no system to check imports of such rice into the country. But going forward, the Indian government may have to put some procedures in place to avert the entry of such artificial and harmful products into the country. India basically does not need to import rice given its huge production potential.
Earlier, Chinese plastic rice as well as the locally produced Chinese rice have been criticized for one being poisonous and the other being toxic after being contaminated with metals such as cadmium.
The Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has forecasted that the country would not be able to meet its rice export target of around 3.8 million tons in FY 2014-15 (July - June) as demand from China and Malaysia has been falling, according to Bloomberg.
The REAP Chairman noted that Pakistan\'s rice exports may reach around 3.5 million tons in 2014-15, of which 600,000 tons are expected to be basmati.
Currently Pakistan\'s 5% rice export prices are quoted at around $355 per ton, much lower than Thai 5% prices of around $400 per ton, Viet 5% prices of around $370 per ton and India 5% prices of around $395 per ton. Yet, the demand has been thin partly due to excessive stock offloading by Thailand and re-entry of Myanmar into the global rice market.
Other top rice exporters such as Thailand, Vietnam and India are also facing lower export demand this year.
Pakistan has exported around 2.26 million tons of rice (around 313,540 tons of basmati and around 1.95 million tons of non-basmati) in the first seven months of FY 2014-15 (July 2014 - June 2015), up about 2% from around 2.22 million tons (around 336,290 tons of basmati and around 1.88 million tons of non-basmati) exported during the same period in FY 2013-14.
The South Asian nation 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 government of China has sold around 15,268 tons or 1.2% of around 1.4 million tons of late-harvest rice from reserves, Bloomberg quoted a statement posted on the National Grain and Oil Trade Center.
The government sold the rice at an average price of around 2,710 yuan (around $433) per ton.
The government usually procures rice from farmers at prescribed prices to stabilize market prices and protect farmers\' interests. This year, the government reportedly planned to build more granaries to accommodate more stocks under its price intervention programs.
European paddy quotes in the weeks between February 24 and March 3 show some slight movement, both for Indica and for Japonica varieties.
Below are European paddy and rice quotations supplied by European Union on March 3:Â
SPAIN - Japonica paddy quotes decreased to 301 euros (about $ 317) per ton on March 3, from 302 euros (about $ 318) per ton on February 24. On March 3 Indica paddy was unchanged at 267 euros (about $ 281) per ton. Milled Japonica rice quoted at 567 euros (about $ 597) per ton on March 3, from 561 euros (about $ 591) per ton on February 24.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
PORTUGAL - Long A paddy indications increased to 325 euros (about $ 342) per ton on March 3, up from 314 euros (about $ 331) per ton on February 24. Meanwhile, Long B paddy did not receive quotations on March 3 but was shown at 280 euros (about $ 295) per ton on February 24.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
GREECE â€“ No quotes have been available in the last two weeks for medium and Indica varieties. Long grain paddy is quoted at 440 euros (about $ 463) per ton on both weeks.
ROMANIA - On March 3 Japonica paddy prices dipped lower to 359 euros (about $ 378) per ton,Â from 395 euros (about $ 416) per ton on February 24. Indica paddy quotes softened to 306 euros (about $ 337) per ton on March 3 from 316 euros (about $ 322) per ton on February 24. As for milled rice, Japonica quotes advanced to 850 euros (about $ 896) per ton on March 3 from 719 euros (about $ 758) per ton on February 24. Indica milled quotes advanced to 738 euros (about $ 778) per ton on March 3, from 694 euros (about $ 731) per ton on February 24.Â Â Â
BULGARIA - Japonica paddy quotations remained firm at 276 euros (about $ 291) per ton as of March 3. Japonica milled rice quotations were unchanged in the previous couple of weeks, at 814 euros (about $ 858) per ton.
FRANCE - Round milled rice was shown at 570 euros (about $ 601) per ton on March 3. Long A indications advanced to 650 euros (about $ 685) per ton as of March 3. Â Long B was quoted at 550 euros (about $ 579) per ton on March 3. There were no quotations available for French milled rice on March 3.
Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery settled 5.5 cents per cwt (about $1 per ton) lower at $10.680 per cwt (about $235 per ton). After getting off to a strong start on what looked to be follow-through buying, after yesterdayâ€™s double digit rally, rough rice futures gave back their gains and ultimately slipped into negative territory by the end of the trading session. Todayâ€™s action is seen as bearish as the market tested points of overhead resistance at $10.750 and $10.800 per cwt (about $237 and $238 per ton), provided by the 20-day moving average and the upper boundary of the current trading range respectively, but was unable to maintain these levels in late session trading. The uptick in selling pressure late in the day seems to indicate that speculative shorts are moving to protect their position in an effort to dampen the momentum of yesterdayâ€™s rally. The other grains also closed lower for the most part, with wheat the only market managing to pull off a higher close as the market continues to attempt to recover from historically low prices; Soybeans closed about 0.2% lower at $9.9050 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.7% higher at $5.0725 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.6% lower at $3.8850 per bushel.
U.S. stocks traded higher on Thursday as mixed economic data indicated to some investors that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates as early as anticipated. The U.S. dollar fell about half a percent, pausing its recent rally. The euro edged higher to $1.06, up from 12-year lows hit on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve said on Thursday that household net worth rose by $1.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2014 to a record $83 trillion, with gains driven by real estate. U.S. business inventories were unchanged in January and further declines in sales pushed the number of months it would take to clear shelves to the highest since July 2009, which suggests a stock drawdown in the months ahead. Retail sales for February fell 0.6%, missing expectations of a slight gain. Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services were unchanged after a 0.1% decline in January. Weekly jobless claims fell more than expected to 289,000, below the prior week\'s 320,000. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 184 points, or 1.05%, at 17,820. The S&P 500 traded up 19 points, or 0.92%, at 2,059, with utilities leading gains as all sectors except energy advanced. The Nasdaq traded up 27 points, or 0.55%, at 4,877. Gold is trading about 0.1% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 1.4% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.5% lower at aboutÂ 1:00pm Chicago time.
Wednesday, there were 322 contracts traded, up from 245 contracts traded on Tuesday. Open interest â€“ the number of contracts outstanding â€“ on Wednesday decreased by 5 contracts to 8,961.
The U.S. cash market was unchanged today with little to no significant news to report that could move the market in one direction or the other.
Farmers are still holding out at these levels noting that most of the bids they are receiving are at or below their cost of production while buyers contend that they is no business to be had at the levels sellers hope to net.
In the meantime, the USDA reported that cumulative net export sales for the week ending on March 5th, totaled 82,500 tons, which was 19% higher than last week but 15% lower than the prior 4-week average.
Increases were reported for the following destinations including: 22,100 tons to Mexico, 20,500 tons to Haiti, 11,100 tons to Costa Rica, 7,100 tons to Colombia, and 4,600 tons to Guatemala.
U.S. rice exporters shipped 53,100 tons, which was 59% higher than last week and 24% higher than the prior 4-week average. The primary destinations included: 35,600 tons to Colombia, 4,300 tons to Saudi Arabia, 3,600 tons to Canada, 3,500 tons to Mexico, and 1,500 tons to Haiti.
Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $395 - $405 per ton, about a $30 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice Â shown at around $365 - $375 per ton.
India 5% rice is quoted at around $390 - $400 per ton, about a $40 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice quoted at around $350 - $360 per ton.
25% Broken RiceÂ
Thailand 25% rice is shown at around $370 - $380 per ton, about a $30 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $340- $350 per ton.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
India 25% rice is quoted at around $360 - $370, about a $45 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice quoted at around $315 - $325 per ton.
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $400 - $410 per ton.
India parboiled rice is quoted at around $380 - $390 per ton, about $15 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice quoted at around $395 - $405 per ton.
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is quoted at around $320 - $330per ton, about a $15 per ton premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $305 - $315per ton.
India\'s 100% broken rice is shown at around $275 - $285 per ton,Â about a $15 per ton discount to Â Pakistan broken sortexed rice quoted at around $290 - $300 per ton.
Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery are currently listed 6.5 cents per cwt (about $1 per ton) higher at $10.700 per cwt (about $237 per ton) ahead of floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading mostly lower this morning: soybeans are currently seen about 0.7% lower, wheat is listed about 0.7% higher and corn is currently noted about 0.1% lower.
U.S. stock index futures indicated a slightly lower open on Friday as uncertainty over the timing of an interest rate rise lingers after a bumpy week. Stocks ended in the green on Thursday following a rough few days, as mixed economic data indicated to some investors that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates as early as anticipated. Friday looks set to be a quiet day on the earnings front, with retailers Ann and The Buckle among the companies due to report before the bell. The U.S. Producer Price index for February showed a decline of 0.5%, missing estimates of a 0.3% gain. Consumer sentiment data comes at 10 a.m. ET. Gold is currently trading about 0.5% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 1.8% lower,Â and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.2% higher at 8:00am Chicago time.
Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery settled 10 cents per cwt (about $2 per ton) lower at $10.580 per cwt (about $233 per ton). The other grains also closed lower; Soybeans closed about 1.7% lower at $9.7400 per bushel; wheat finished about 1% lower at $5.0200 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 2.1% lower at $3.8050 per bushel.
U.S. stocks traded 1% lower on Friday as investors eyed weak inflation data amid renewed dollar strength and sharply lower oil prices. The U.S. dollar rose more than half a percent to a new 52-week high, on track for its first close above 100 since April 2003. The euro extended losses to fall below $1.05. The Dow fell more than 250 points before recovering slightly as the major indices extended losses, with nearly all blue chips declining and all S&P 500 sectors in the red. The U.S. Producer Price index for February showed a decline of 0.5%, missing estimates of a 0.3% gain. Consumer sentiment data showed a preliminary read of 91.2 in March versus 95.4 in February. The Federal Open Market Committee meets next week, with all eyes on whether or not \"patient\" remains in the statement. Quarterly options also expire. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded down 240 points, or 1.34%, at 17,654. The S&P 500 traded down 22 points, or 1.08%, at 2,043, with industrials leading all ten sectors lower. The Nasdaq traded down 46 points, or 0.94%, at 4,847. Gold is trading about 0.2% higher, crude oil is seen trading about 4.2% lower, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 0.9% higher at aboutÂ 1:00pm Chicago time.
Thursday, there were 610 contracts traded, up from 322 contracts traded on Wednesday. Open interest â€“ the number of contracts outstanding â€“ on Thursday increased by 18 contracts to 8,979.
Rice harvesting of the 2014-15 main crop (winter-spring) is currently going on in Vietnam and will continue until the end of July. Below average rains from mid-January to late February, delayed planting in main rice producing area, according to FAO. In the organizationâ€™s latest official estimates planting has been completed on about 2.39 million hectares as of mid - February, down about 8% from last year. However, FAO notes that overall prospects for current paddy crop is expected to remain favorable due to near average rainfall and adequate irrigation water supply for the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, FAO says that Vietnam is expected to export about 6.9 million tons rice in 2015, up about 7% from last year. Vietnam exported about 515,000 tons of rice in first two months of 2015, down about 30% from same period last year, according to the General Statistic Office of Viet Nam (GSO).
For 2014, FAO estimates total paddy rice production in Vietnam is expected to reach a record level of 45 million tons in 2014, up about 2% from about 44.04 million tons produced in 2013, due to higher yields amid favorable weather conditions.
In Vietnam, wholesale prices of rice decreased in February due to ample existing supplies and new crop harvest. Meanwhile, the Vietnam\'s Government has approved the purchase of 1 million tons of rice from the winter-spring crop to support domestic prices. The procurement program began on 1 March, 2015 and will continue until 15 April, 2015.
Ever wondered what it was like to be a rice trader 400 years ago?Â A new game on Kickstarter called Fujian Trader can show you (well, kind of).Â Fujian Trader is a trading game based on an actual 17th century map used by an actual Chinese trading family.Â The game appears to be similar to the popular Settlers of Catan but is historically factual.Â Players work trade routes on the gameboard to move their â€œshipsâ€ from port to port, fighting for control of ports and negotiating trades along the way.Â And rice is one of the resources players can trade!Â The game mimics reality, where â€œportsâ€ farther from the Chinese mainland see higher prices for rice than â€œportsâ€ closer to the mainland.Â It would be a good way to teach older children about history and trade at the same time.
If youâ€™re interested in the game, a donation through Kickstarter can get you a printable game board â€“ but youâ€™ll have to wait until December to get your hands on the real thing, complete with carved wooden game pieces to maintain its historical accuracy.
So what are you waiting for?Â Now you can trade rice for fun, not just for work!
Go ahead and eat all the rice you want, but please keep it away from any goats you have.Â Recently, five goats distributed in India under the welfare scheme all died mysterious deaths.Â Post-mortem autopsies showed the goats had eaten significant amounts of rice, a food staple thatâ€™s not typically part of a goatâ€™s diet.Â Animal Husbandry officials speculate the rice caused â€œabnormal secretion of gastric fluidsâ€ like acid which led to the animalsâ€™ sudden deaths.
However, veterinarians maintain that white rice can be a good food substitute for other pets, like cats and dogs, when they have upset stomachs.Â Just donâ€™t let your goats near it!
A new study by researchers in Finland shows that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may significantly increase a personâ€™s risk of developing type 2 diabetes â€“ in fact, it may increase a personâ€™s risk by as much as 50%!
Whatâ€™s a person to do when faced with a choice between high cholesterol or increased risk of type 2 diabetes?
Rice to the rescue once again!Â Red yeast rice has been a controversial productÂ â€“ especially in the West.Â In fact, Switzerland doesnâ€™t even allow its sale in the country.Â However, itâ€™s popularly used in Asia for a variety of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and improving blood circulation.
On the back of a study showing that statins, which millions of people around the world (and especially in the West) take daily, can increase the risk of another chronic disease, perhaps scientists should consider investing research into red yeast rice so that we can finally reach a conclusion about its efficacy in treating cholesterol.Â If it is found to be scientifically effective, it could prevent millions of people from developing type 2 diabetes every year.
Rice farmers in drought-stricken California might finally have something to look forward to: the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has offered up to $71 million for farmers to ship their water to the Los Angeles area in southern California.Â As much as 115,000 acre-feet of water, or more than 37 billion gallons, could be sold.
According to the Sacramento Bee, some farmers may actually make more cash from selling their water than they would from selling their rice!Â Last year, when Sacramento Valley water districts shipped their water down south they were getting $500 an acre-foot.Â This year prices are around $700 an acre-foot.Â (An acre foot is 326,000 gallons and will supply roughly two Southern California households for about a year.)
So far, nine irrigation districts have made tentative deals with the Water District to ship some of their water.
This news might decrease rice acreage in California even further; in 2014 rice acres in California decreased by 140,000 acres due to drought, and about one-fourth of the crop didnâ€™t get planted.Â Most rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley region make around $1,000 to $1,500 an acre profit when they plant rice.Â Idling an acre of rice would save about 3 acre-feet of water, or more than $2,100 at this yearâ€™s rates.Â However, many growers take a long-term approach and recognize the importance of supporting the rice industry as a whole; most farmers will likely still grow some rice â€“ the question is how much?
The Oryza White Rice Index (WRI), a weighted average of global white rice export quotes, ended the week at about $419 per ton, down about $3 per ton from a week ago, down about $1 per ton from a month ago and down about $35 per ton from a year ago.
The USDA forecasts all rice exports in MY 2014-15 to reach 4.72 million tons, up about 11% from last year.
Thailand 5% broken rice is today shown at about $400 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week and a month ago and down about $15 per ton from a year ago.
In January 2015, Thailand exported about 610,504 tons of rice, down about 59% from December 2014 and down about 12% from January 2014.
Thailand received bids for about 780,000 tons of rice on March 6.Â The government had hoped to auction off one million tons.
Thailand and China have sorted out the details of a deal signed between the two countries in December.Â Under this deal, China agreed to buy about 2 million tons of rice and 200,000 tons of rubber from Thailand.
India 5% broken rice is today shown at about $395 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, down about $5 per ton from a month ago and down about $30 per ton from a year ago.
The government has decided to sell excess rice stocks in the open market starting April 1.
The Federation of Indian Exports Organization (FIEO) and the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) expect Iran to resume basmati rice imports from India once the new financial year begins in April.
The Chief Minister of the South Indian state of Telangana is urging the government to reconsider its decision to end the levy rice procurement system starting from the 2015-16 (October-September) kharif marketing season.
Chinese plastic rice, made of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Chinese polymer, is turning up in consumer rice products in India.Â The plastic rice can cause gastritis and other digestive problems and is causing the Indian government to consider instituting a system to check imports of rice into the country.
The rice sector in Bangladesh is facing severe trouble amidst continuing political unrest and rising imports.
Vietnam 5% broken rice is today shown at about $370 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week ago, up about $10 per ton from a month ago and down about $5 per ton from a year ago.
Vietnam exported about 421,202 tons of rice in the first two months of 2015, a decrease of about 34% from the first two months of 2014.Â Average rice export price so far this year is about $452 per ton (FOB), up about 5% from the same time last year.
The Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade is optimistic that rice exports, which declined about 4% y/y to 6.4 million tons in 2014, will rebound in 2015 as a result of increased demand from China and lower export prices.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam plans to develop specialized large-scale rice growing areas in the Mekong River Delta region to cater to the growing needs of local and international market.
Pakistan 5% broken rice is today shown at about $355 per ton, up about $5 per ton from a week and a month ago and down about $50 per ton from a year ago.
Basmati rice prices have seen a reversal and increased sharply in February 2015 after declining consistently since September.Â The increase is likely due to concerns over an anticipated reduction in 2014-15 production.
The Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan forecasts that Pakistan may miss the rice export target of 3.8 million tons in FY 2014-15 due to falling demand.
Central & South America
Brazil 5% broken rice is today shown at about $550 per ton, unchanged from a week ago, up about $10 per ton from a month ago and down about $115 per ton from a year ago.
Brazilâ€™s National Grains Supply Company (Conab) estimates 2014-15 paddy rice production will be about 12.152 million tons, slightly up from 2013-14.
The Brazilian paddy rice index maintained by the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA) reached around 36.02 real per 50 kilograms as of March 09, 2015, down about 0.3% from around 36.13 real per 50 kilograms recorded on March 02, 2015.Â In terms of USD per ton, the index reached around $232 per ton on March 09, 2015, down about 8% from around $252 per ton recorded on March 2, 2015.
Five percent broken rice from Uruguay and Argentina is today shown at about $580 per ton, down about $20 per ton from a month ago and down about $45 per ton from a year ago.
In 2014, Argentina exported around 510,707 tons of rice, down about 5% from the same period in 2013, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The government of Guyana has secured a deal with Venezuela to export about 260,000 tons of paddy and rice in 2015, according to the Agriculture Minister.
U.S. 4% broken rice is today shown at about $485 per ton, unchanged from a week and a month ago and down about $100 per ton from a year ago.
The ongoing drought in California is leading some experts to anticipate global medium-grain rice prices will stay firm for the near future.
After staying flat early in the week, Chicago rough rice futures for May delivery saw a spike in prices Wednesday, when they reached a high of $10.740 per cwt (about $237 per ton).Â Futures then dropped slightly to finish the week at $10.615 per cwt (about $234 per ton).
The U.S. cash market for rough rice was quiet and mostly unchanged this week, despite a relatively bullish WASDE report that projected a 1 million cwt (45,359 tons) increase in U.S. long grain exports.
Â Cambodia 5% broken rice is today shown at about $430 per ton, down about $5 per ton from a week and a month ago and down about $25 per ton from a year ago.
The UNâ€™s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates 2014-15 rice imports for Japan to reach around 700,000 tons.
The UNâ€™s FAO estimates Indonesiaâ€™s rice imports will reach about 1.2 million tons in 2014-15 (April-March), due to a reduction in 2014 aggregate rice production.Â Meanwhile, the Indonesian President has ruled out rice imports, despite continuing price hikes.
For the third consecutive month, rice stocks in the Philippines continue to decline, according to the Bureau of Statistics.Â As of February 1, stocks were around 2.35 million tons, down about 12% from last month, but up about 17.5% from the same period last year. Meanwhile, the Philippines Chief Economist is urging the government to remove quantitative restrictions on rice imports in order to stabilize rice prices in the country. Separately, the National Food Authority Council of the Philippines has approved the government-to-government deals of Vietnam and Thailand, with Vietnam supplying about 300,000 tons of rice and Thailand supplying about 200,000 tons of rice by May 31.
South Koreaâ€™s state-run Agro Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation is looking to buy about 58,897 tons of non-glutinous rice in international tenders for delivery between June 30 and September 30, with bidding occurring on March 24.
About 631,058 tons of Italian paddy crop has been sold as of March 3.Â This represents about 64.82% of total Italian 2014-15 (September-August) paddy crop, and is about 11% more sold than during the same period last year, according to the Ente Nazionale Risi.
China has sold about 15,268 tons or 1.2% of 1.4 million tons of late-harvest rice from reserves.
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.