WORLD RICE SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
The forecast for global rice trade in 1999 is 22.7 million tons, up more than 500,000. The higher level of trade is primarily due to larger imports by Indonesia and more exports by China and Vietnam. U.S. prices dropped over the past four weeks due to harvest pressure and prospects for a record crop. Thai quotes were flat to slightly lower during most of the past month, but fell the first week of August due to some softening in local prices and a weaker baht. Prices in Vietnam strengthened for low qualities, but weakened by nearly the same amount for high qualities, narrowing the spread between the two qualities.
Projected world trade for 2000 is raised 550,000 tons this month to nearly 23 million. The global production forecast is up to a record 581 million, 1.9 million higher than last months projection. Consumption and ending stocks estimates are also forecast higher this month climbing almost 900,000 and 1.1 million tons respectively.
The Argentine rice export forecast is lowered 100,000 tons to 525,000 based on a weaker shipment pace to date. The 2000 forecast is reduced 100,000 tons to 500,000.
Projected Chinese rice exports in 1999 are raised to 2.0 million tons due to stronger export pace to date. Exports in 2000 are forecast at 2.1 million tons, up 200,000 from last month's estimate.
Estimated Vietnamese rice exports for 1999 are increased 350,000 tons to almost 3.9 million tons based on strong exports to Indonesia in recent months. The 2000 export forecast is raised by the same amount to nearly 3.9 million tons.
1999 Taiwanese rice export forecast is raised 50,000 tons to 150,000 tons, based on sales to date. Estimated exports for 2000 are also raised 50,000 tons to 150,000.
Egyptian rice exports are forecast up 50,000 tons in 2000 to 350,000, due to higher production prospects.
Rice imports by Indonesia in 1999 are expected to be 3.7 million tons (the second highest level on record), up 1.2 million due to large government purchases and sizeable private sector imports over the past month. The estimate for 2000 is raised 500,000 tons to 3.0 million.
Chinas 1999 rice import forecast is reduced 100,000 tons to 200,000, because of weaker purchases of fragrant rice from Thailand during the first half of the year. The import forecast for 2000 is also reduced 100,000 tons to 400,000.
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