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Rice: U.S. Rice Exports Forecast to be the Lowest Since 1985/86

Published 02/14/2023, 03:43 AM
Updated 07/09/2023, 06:32 AM

The U.S. domestic rice production has been slowly declining for many years: from 227.5 million hundredweight, or 100 pounds (0.05 t) (cwt) in 2020/21 crops to 191.8 in 2021/22 to a projected 164.3 cwt in 2022/23, according to USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand estimates. The decline of the old crops compared with new harvest years is mainly due to a reduction in planted area, with yields only slightly lower.

All-rice total U.S. domestic and wider application use in 2022/23 remains forecast at 147.0 million cwt, 3% below the figure a year earlier. The decline is explained by reduced supplies of U.S. rice and fewer post-harvest losses resulting from a smaller crop. Long-grain U.S. domestic and residual use remains forecast at 117.0 million cwt, 2% below a year earlier and the lowest since 2017/18. Medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use remains forecast at 30.0 million cwt, the smallest since 2014/15, a decline largely due to weaker California harvests.  

Rice production is also down elsewhere, with major producers such as China and India continuing to see annual declines in the new crop year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service reports. Together, the two countries account for more than half of the world's rice production. . India's current crops are said to be felled by the uneven monsoon, while China is shifting its focus to other crops.

Global per capita rice consumption shows a flat or declining trend, as increases in sub-Saharan Africa are only partially offset by economically developing populations in Asia, which is diversifying its diets.

In the global rice market, 2022/23 production remains forecast at 503.0 million tons, 2% below a year earlier. Upward production revisions for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uzbekistan were offset by reductions for Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, the European Union, and Vietnam. The 2022/23 global consumption and residual use forecast was increased 1.1 million
tons to 517.2 million, with Bangladesh, China, and Thailand accounting for the bulk of the upward revision. The 2022/23 global ending stocks forecast was lowered 0.85 million tons to 169.1 million tons, with China and India accounting for the bulk of the downward revision.

The global rice export forecast for calendar year 2023 was lowered 0.2 million tons to 54.2 million, as reduced forecasts for Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam more than offset a stronger forecast for India. Over the past month, quotes for Thailand’s and Vietnam’s trading prices for most grades of regular whole-grain milled rice rose 2–3 percent, while India’s nominal price quotes (no offers) increased around 10 percent. U.S. trading prices for long-grain milled rice continued to increase over the past month, while quotes for California medium-grain milled rice remain record high

Nevertheless, rice ending stocks for the current marketing year are now seen at 33.1 million hundredweight, 1 million more than in January, with a cut in exports mostly canceling out a lower import guess. The average farm price is estimated at $19.40 per hundredweight, $.20 above a month ago. Globally, rice ending stocks were nearly unchanged, production was slightly higher, and exports were modestly lower. Cotton ending stocks were down on a smaller production guess but with declines for exports and domestic use.


Global rice consumption Is projected to rise in the coming decade by 1.1% annually to 2031, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The majority of the increasing consumption is attributable to rising populations in Asia, plus Africa increasing per capita consumption. However, in the meantime, while demand (consumption) looks more or less well-balanced against the production, slightly oversized inventories may push rice prices moderately down in the coming months.

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