RICE: Total 2017/18 U.S. rice supplies are increased marginally this month to 248.9 million cwt as higher projected imports (primarily Thai fragrant rice) offset slightly lower production. In the November Crop Production report, NASS reduced the 2017/18 U.S. crop size by 0.2 million cwt to 178.4 million on lower forecast yield. This is 20 percent less than last year and would be the lowest U.S. rice production since 1996/97. Projected U.S. rice exports are reduced by 2 million cwt to 104 million, down 1 million each for both long- and medium- and short- grain rice to 74 and 30 million cwt, respectively. Exports for both classes are projected lower than last year due to reduced exportable supplies, greater competition, and higher U.S. prices. Projected 2017/18 ending stocks are increased 2.1 million cwt to 29.9 million, still the lowest all rice ending stocks since 2007/08. The projected 2017/18 season-average farm price for all rice is reduced 20 cents at both ends of the range to $12.50 to $13.50 per cwt based on monthly NASS prices reported to date and price expectations for the rest of the marketing year. The midpoint of $13.00 per cwt is $2.60 above the previous year.
Global 2017/18 rice supplies are decreased to 619.3 million tons, primarily on a smaller crop projected for India. World 2017/18 consumption is down fractionally to 480.4 million tons. Global 2017/18 trade is raised to 44.9 million tons on higher exports by Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and China more than offsetting reductions for India, Pakistan, and the United States. Trade is still below the 2016/17 record of 45.3 million tons. World ending stocks are lowered this month to 138.9 million tons for 2017/18, still higher than last year and at the highest level since 2000/01.