WORLD RICE SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
The forecast for global rice trade in 1998 is increased by 1.1 million tons this month, to a record 24.9 million tons. After holding fairly steady near $330 per ton throughout September, quotes for Thai 100B dropped to $313 per ton during the first week of October. Lower grades, which had increased in mid-September in anticipation of the Indonesian tender, fell a few dollars per ton. After capturing only a small portion of Indonesias tender last month, Vietnam has concluded a government to government sale with Indonesia, and removed the latest ban on new export sales. Quotes for Viet five percent brokens were near $290 in early October. Pakistan has begun to market their new crop, with quotes for 15/20 currently near $260 per ton.
The trade projection for calendar year 1999 is raised this month to 20.4 million tons, a 300,000 ton increase since last month. The increase is mainly due to a larger crop in Pakistan, and additional demand from Bangladesh.
The 1998 export forecast for India is increased to 3.5 million tons due to continued strong shipments to Africa, the Middle East, and Bangladesh.
The 1998 export forecast for China is increased 500,000 tons, to 2.75 million tons. Despite severe flooding in Southern China, export shipments have continued at a strong pace.
The forecast for 1998 exports from Burma is increased 30,000 tons this month, to 80,000 tons, due to recent sales to Indonesia.
The 1999 export forecast for Pakistan is increased to 2 million tons due to increased production.
The 1998 import forecast for Bangladesh is raised to 1.5 million tons, and the 1999 forecast is raised to 750,000 tons. Production losses due to flooding are expected to result in increased exports in lat 1998 and early 1999.
The 1998 import forecast for Cote dIvoire is raised 150,000 tons this month, to 500,000 tons. Falling domestic production and rising demand have resulted in greater imports during the first half of 1998 than previously expected. The 1999 import forecast has also been increased by 150,000 tons, to 550,000 tons.
The 1998 and 1999 import forecasts for Iran are each reduced 200,000 tons, to 600,000 and 800,000 tons, respectively. Year to date imports are lagging last years levels and appear unlikely to surge to the levels previously forecast.
The 1998 import forecast for Nigeria is increased 200,000 tons this month due to a continued strong import pace.
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