RICE: WORLD MARKETS AND TRADE
Thailand sells non-fragrant white rice to the United States. For the first time since the early 1990s, the United States will be importing non-fragrant rice. According to government and trade sources in Thailand, exporters sold 25,000 tons of regular white rice to the United States. This sale comes at a time when U.S. prices are $150 above world prices for comparable quality rice. Normally, the United States imports about 400,000 tons annually of fragrant rice - basmati from India and Pakistan and jasmine from Thailand.
International: Over the past month there has been significant upward movement in Thai export price quotes. Since last month, Thai 100B is up $8 to $218 per ton, FOB; however, in mid-January it hit a high of $225 per ton. The increase in prices is largely attributed to tight regional supplies. In Vietnam, export price quotes continue to increase due to the limited availability of rice. Viet 5% is up $3 to $201 per ton, FOB. Similarly, tight exportable supplies have bumped India 5% up about $11 to $208 per ton, FOB. Asian prices may continue drifting upward over the next month, but could ease after Vietnamís peak harvest in March.
Domestic: U.S. rice export price quotes are up this month. U.S. #2/4 long grain milled rice is up about $4 and is currently quoted at $368 per ton, FOB. Price quotes for U.S. #1/4 medium grain milled rice from California are down $5 month-to-month at $510 per ton, bulk, ex-spout Sacramento.
TRADE CHANGES IN 2004
∑China down 250,000 tons to 2.0 million due to another reduction in its crop estimate and relatively low grain stocks.
∑Thailand up 250,000 tons to a record 8.25 million given Chinaís tightening supply situation.
TRADE CHANGES IN 2003
∑Argentina up 35,000 tons to 160,000 based on near year-end trade statistics.
∑China, India, and Thailand changes are based on year-end export statistics.
∑EU down 50,000 tons to 325,000 given export pace to date.
∑Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, and El Salvador changes are based on import pace.
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