RICE: WORLD MARKETS AND TRADE
Philippines Imports To Rise: In response to concerns over the weak El Niņo, the Philippines is expected to import 1.3 million tons of rice in an effort to secure buffer stocks. Vietnam was awarded 400,000 tons of rice in a government tender held last month, with delivery expected throughout February and March. The Philippines is expected to return to the market on March 1, with a tender for 500,000 tons.
China, Net Importer in 2005: As long grain rice stock levels continue to fall, such rice will be less available for export in the coming year. Further, although China continues to encourage greater rice production through various government incentive programs, the country is expected to continue to need to supplement domestic supplies with foreign imports. It is expected that China will again be a net importer in calendar year 2005, buying additional long grain rice, mainly from Thailand and Vietnam. With ample supplies of medium and short grain rice, China is not expected to retreat from this subset of the international rice market (See PDF version for chart).
International: Asian prices continue the upward trajectory over the last month, led by Vietnam. Viet 5% soared $20 and is currently quoted at $267 per ton, FOB. Meanwhile, in Thailand price quotes have strengthened mainly as a result of the continuing appreciation of the baht and due to the intervention program. Since last month, quotes for Thai 100B increased $7 and are currently at $296 per ton, FOB. However, there appears to be resistance to these higher Thai levels as buyers remain mostly on the sidelines. Indian 5% is up $7 to $267 per ton, FOB, but remains relatively withdrawn from the white rice market (See PDF version for chart).
Domestic: While Asian prices continue upward, U.S. prices remain unchanged for the second month with U.S. #2/4 long grain milled rice quoted at $329 per ton, FOB. The price spread between similar qualities of U.S. and Thai rice has shrunk to $33 per ton. Although the gap between similar qualities of U.S. and Viet has narrowed, it remains at about $60. It is this price spread that is expected to constrain demand for U.S. rice in key milled markets, such as Cuba and Iraq. Prices for U.S. #1/4 medium grain milled rice from California are also unchanged at a low $300 per ton, FOB, due to bumper supplies.
TRADE CHANGES IN 2005
TRADE CHANGES IN 2004
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