RICE: U.S. all rice 2014/15 supply and use changes result in a 1.5 million cwt increase in ending stocks to 42.4 million, up 33 percent from the previous year. Long-grain ending stocks are increased 0.5 million to 27.6 million, and combined medium- and short-grain ending stocks are increased 1.0 million to 12.5 million. All rice imports are raised 0.5 million (all in long-grain) to 23.5 million as imports from Thailand were strong in February according to the U.S. Census Bureau trade data. No other changes are made on the supply side. Total 2014/15 all rice use is lowered 1.0 million cwt to 234.0 million—all in combined medium- and short-grain rice. All rice domestic and residual use is lowered 2.0 million cwt to 129.0 million with long-grain and combined medium- and short-grain each reduced 1.0 million to 98.0 million and 31.0 million, respectively. Partially offsetting the decrease in domestic and residual use is a 1.0 million cwt increase in all rice exports to 105.0 million (all in long-grain) as exports increased recently to Western Hemisphere markets. Long-grain exports are forecast at 73.0 million cwt, and combined medium- and short-grain exports at 32.0 million.
The decrease in 2014/15 all rice domestic and residual use is based primarily on total use implied from USDA’s Rice Stocks report on March 31. USDA’s March 1 rice stocks were higher than expected and above trade expectations. All rice March 1 stocks totaled 120.8 million cwt (rough-equivalent basis), up 24 percent from the previous year, and the highest since 2011. Implied all rice domestic and residual use for December-February 2014/15 was down 8 percent from the previous market year, and 5 percent below the previous 4-year average.
The 2014/15 long-grain season-average price at the midpoint is projected at $12.30 per cwt, down 20 cents per cwt from a month ago and down $3.10 per cwt from last year. The all combined medium- and short-grain season-average price at the midpoint is forecast at $18.60 per cwt, up 10 cents per cwt from last month, but 60 cents per cwt below a year ago. The California medium- and short-grain rice price is raised slightly from last month and the Other States price is unchanged. The all rice price at the midpoint is projected at $14.20 per cwt, down 10 cents per cwt from last month, and $2.10 per cwt below 2013/14.