WASDE: Lower Yields Reduce U.S. Rice Production

January 12, 2012 01:51 AM

RICE: The U.S. 2011/12 rice crop is estimated at 185.0 million cwt, down 3.1 million from the previous estimate due primarily to lower yields. Average yield is estimated at 7,067 pounds per acre, down 100 pounds per acre from last month, but an increase of 342 pounds per acre from 2010/11. Harvested area is estimated at 2.618 million acres, down 6,000 acres from the previous estimate. Long-grain rice production is estimated at 116.4 million cwt, down 1.1 million from last month, and combined medium- and short-grain production is lowered nearly 2.0 million to 68.6 million. Rice imports for 2011/12 are unchanged from last month.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Rice Stocks reported total rough rice stocks at 146.9 million cwt as of December 1 and total milled stocks at 6.2 million (9.1 million cwt on a rough-equivalent basis). Total rice stocks on a rough-equivalent basis are 155.9 million, down 15 percent from a year earlier. Long-grain stocks as of December 1 are estimated at 96.9 million (rough-equivalent basis) and combined medium- and short-grain stocks at 56.2 million.

Rice 2011/12 domestic and residual use is lowered 3.0 million cwt to 124.0 million cwt—all in the long-grain class. Long-grain domestic and residual use is projected at 89.0 million cwt, and combined medium- and short-grain at 35.0 million. The decrease in domestic and residual use is implied from the higher-than-expected December 1 stocks estimate. All rice exports are lowered 1.0 million cwt to 90.0 million—all in the long-grain class. The pace of exports and sales of long-grain rice is lagging based on U.S. Bureau of Census data through October and U.S. Export Sales data through December. Long-grain exports to the Western Hemisphere have been lagging due to competition from South America, principally Brazil. Additionally, long-grain exports to the Middle East have been lagging due to strong competition from other suppliers.

Conversely, the pace of sales of combined medium- and short-grain rice is supportive of the current export forecast. The 2011/12 rough rice export projection is lowered 1.0 million cwt to 33.0 million, while exports of combined milled and brown rice are unchanged at 57.0 million cwt (rough-equivalent basis). All rice ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected at 38.5 million cwt, up 0.9 million from last month, but down 10.0 million from 2010/11. Long-grain rice ending stocks are forecast at 20.6 million cwt, up 2.9 million from last month, but a decrease of 15.1 million from the previous year. Combined medium- and short-grain rice ending stocks are projected at 15.2 million cwt, 2.0 million below last month, but an increase of 5.1 million from 2010/11.

The 2011/12 long-grain, season-average farm price range is projected at $13.50 to $14.50 per cwt, unchanged from last month, while the combined medium- and short-grain farm price range is projected at $15.00 to $16.00 per cwt, down 50 cents per cwt on each end. The all rice season-average farm price is forecast at $13.80 to $14.80 per cwt, down 20 cents per cwt on both ends of the range.

Global 2011/12 rice production, consumption, and ending stocks are raised slightly, and trade is lowered from a month ago. The increase in global rice production of 0.6 million tons to a record 461.4 million tons is due primarily to larger forecast crops for Bangladesh and Cambodia, which are partially offset by reductions for Brazil, Pakistan, North Korea, and the United States.

Larger forecast Aus and Aman seasonal rice crops in Bangladesh led to the forecast record crop at 34.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from a month ago. Global domestic disappearance (includes post-harvest losses) is raised mostly due to increases for Cambodia and Thailand.

Global trade is lowered as import forecasts are reduced for Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Russia. Export 2011/12 forecasts are lowered for Brazil, Thailand, and the United States and raised for Cambodia. Global 2011/12 ending stocks are forecast at 100.1 million tons, up 0.6 million from last month, an increase of 2.9 million from 2010/11, and the largest stocks since 2002/03. Global ending stocks are up primarily due to increases for Bangladesh, Thailand, and the United States, which are partially offset by reductions for the Philippines and Brazil.

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