RICE: WORLD MARKETS AND TRADE
Where have all the major markets gone? Part One: Indonesia, the world's largest rice importer in 2003 of 2.75 million tons, is now estimated to import only 800,000 tons in 2004. That would be the first time since 1997 that imports would be less than a million tons. The collapse is due to the government-imposed import ban, which has been extended through the end of the year because of record production. Despite that official ban, however, traders acknowledge that rice is still being imported (200,000 tons in the first few months of the year). Food aid has also been subject to the import ban; however, donations are now being cleared on a case-by-case basis. Imports are expected to increase next year to 1.5 million tons.
International: World prices have been stagnant to lower over the past month. Despite surging demand for parboiled rice, white rice trade eased. Thai 100B prices fell $2 over the month, with quotes currently at $244 per ton, FOB. Viet prices were also flat as the government continues to discourage new contracts. Viet 5% is quoted at $231 per ton, FOB, down $1 from last month. India 5% remains at $252 per ton, FOB. The government announcement on export policy doused Indian exporters' hopes for grain export subsidies. (See PDF for chart)
Domestic: U.S. #2/4 long grain milled rice is currently quoted at $340 per ton, FOB, down only $6 from last month. The spread between U.S. and Thai prices continues to hover around $100 per ton. Prices for U.S. #1/4 medium grain milled rice from California are not being quoted as the harvest for new crop is in the beginning stages.
TRADE CHANGES IN 2005
TRADE CHANGES IN 2004
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