OVERVIEW

Global production for 2015/16 is down from last month due mainly to reductions for India and Thailand. Global trade is marginally lower as reduced Thai exports are partly offset by Pakistan. Global consumption is virtually unchanged, while stocks are reduced. U.S. exports are unchanged.

The combined stocks level of the top three exporters --India, Thailand, and Vietnam—is projected to decline 36 percent (or 10 million tons) from a year ago. The sharp decline is due mainly to reduced crops in India and Thailand. In particular, historic dryness in Thailand has led the government to ban plantings of the off-season crop, which account for nearly 30 percent of national production. The crop in Vietnam is currently forecast to be flat year-to-year, and stronger exports are expected to draw down stocks. Tightening stocks in these exporters would suggest strong prices, given that these countries account for over 60 percent of global exports. However, prices in these countries have increased modestly.

Export quotes for Thai and Viet rice are up from last month, supported by government-togovernment sales to the Philippines. Quotes for Viet 5 percent brokens are up $21 to $354 per ton, while Thai 100B quotes rose $18 to $378 per ton during the month.

U.S. quotes are up $15 to $580 per ton, and their premium over Southeast Asian origins have surpassed $200 per ton due in part to a strong U.S. dollar.

SELECTED TRADE CHANGES for 2016

  • Thailand's exports are cut 700,000 tons to 9.5 million on reduced supplies.
  • Pakistan's exports are boosted 500,000 tons to 4.5 million on less competition from Thailand.
  • Iraq's imports are down 100,000 tons to 1.2 million on previous year's level (for 2015, imports are lowered 150,000 tons to 1.1 million reflecting delayed purchases via tenders).
  • Philippines's imports are up 400,000 tons to 1.8 million to reflect approved purchases from Vietnam and Thailand.