World Grain - November 2020 - 18

GRAINMARKET REVIEW

RICE

South America prices surging on
tight supplies; Asia sees decline
by Chris Lyddon

Rice price trends have been mixed in recent months, with
South American values surging amid tight supplies, while
Asian producers have seen declines, with harvesting started or
about to start. In the United States, prices were mostly steady,
except in California, where an increased harvest triggered a
drop in prices.
In its Rice Outlook report, published on Oct. 14, the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the US Department of Agriculture reported that prices for most grades of Thai regularly
milled white rice had fallen by 4% to 5% over the preceding
month, something the ERS described as "a result of a lack of
new sales, a weakening Thai baht, and expectations that the
main harvest for nonaromatic rice will begin next month."
"Thailand's 100% Grade B long-grain milled rice for export was quoted at $480 per tonne for the week ending Oct. 5,
down $20 from the week ending Sept. 7," the ERS said.
The ERS reported quoted prices for Thai 5% broken parboiled rice at $475 per tonne for the week ended Oct. 5, down
$25 from the week ended Sept. 7.
"Prices for Thailand's jasmine rice - a premium aromatic
- were quoted at $848 per tonne for the week ending Oct. 5,
down 8% from the week ending Sept. 7, as harvest began this
month," the ERS added.
Price quotes for Vietnam's rice also have decreased over the
past month as new sales have been weak and the 10-month
crop harvest has begun, the ERS said. The agency gave prices
for Vietnamese 5% broken kernel long-grain milled rice from
the autumn crop at $465 per tonne, $10 down from the week
ended Sept. 8.
"Price quotes from Uruguay for higher grades of long-grain
milled rice were up $85 to $95 per tonne from a month earlier, while quotes from most other South American sources
were up more than $100 per tonne," the ERS said. "The major
South American exporters - located in the southern half of
the continent - completed their 2019-20 harvest in late May
and currently have very small supplies of exportable rice, a
major factor in the recent large increase in their prices."
US trading prices for long-grain milled rice were unchanged over the past month, with supplies of exportable rice
still extremely small as supplies from the 2019-20 crop have
nearly all been sold and the 2020-21 harvest in the Delta is delayed, the ERS said. That left US long-grain milled rice, No.
2 Grade, 4% broken kernels (free on board a vessel at a Gulf
18	

WG_Nov20.indb 18

Monthly rice prices
(in US dollars per tonne)

600
500
400
300
200
100
0

Mar 20

Apr 20

May 20

Jun 20

Jul 20

Aug 20

Rice (Thailand), 5% broken, white rice (WR), milled, indicative
price based on weekly surveys of export transactions, government
standard, f.o.b. Bangkok.
Source: US Department of Agriculture; World Bank

port, Iraq specifications) at $625 per tonne for the week ended
Oct. 6, unchanged from the week ended Sept. 8.
"In contrast, milled rice prices in California declined over
the past month, partly due to the early harvest of a crop projected to be up 7% from 2019-20," the ERS said. "Quotes for
California No. 1 Grade, 4% broken kernels for the week ending Oct. 6 were quoted at $850 per tonne (free on board at a
domestic mill, Mediterranean specifications), down $55 from
the week ending Sept. 8."
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) said in the October 2020 issue of its FAO Rice Price
Update, published Oct. 8, that prices in September were down
1.4% from August, but still up 7.1% on the level of a year earlier. The biggest fall was for glutinous rice, down 4.1% from
September, followed by Japonica with a 2.7% decrease.
"Declines in these segments were largely a reflection of low
export demand in Vietnam and prospects of somewhat improved Thai fragrant and glutinous production," the FAO said.
The fall in Indica prices was limited to 1% with trends
mixed among major suppliers.
"In Asia, September quotations of Indica rice fell the most
in Pakistan and Vietnam," the FAO said.
In the Americas, Brazilian offers surged even further, as local prices remained persistently high, despite confirmation of
an import tariff suspension on non-Mercosur rice, the FAO
said.
"Influenced by the bullish Brazilian trends and a revival in
buying interest from the country, prices also escalated in Uruguay and Argentina to their highest levels since mid-2014,"
the FAO said.
Chris Lyddon is World Grain's European correspondent.
He may be contacted at: chris.lyddon@ntlworld.com.
We want to hear from you - Send comments and inquiries to
worldgrain@sosland.com. For reprints of WG articles, e-mail reprints@sosland.com.

November 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com

11/2/2020 4:07:46 PM

Source: U.S. Depa


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World Grain - November 2020

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