On December 5, 2014, MAFF announced Japan's official 2014 rice production statistics. Overall production volume decreased 2.0 percent over the previous year's crop because of a decrease in planted area following a significant drop in the 2013 wholesale price. Favorable yield in the rice production regions of Northeastern Japan (Tohoku, Hokkaido and Kanto) offset the below-average yield in the remaining regions, which suffered from a lack of sunshine, and as a result, the national crop index was above average at 101. Post has updated the PS&D to reflect final trade data for MY2013/14 imports and MAFF production statistics.

Japanese Rice Production

Planted Area (1,000 hectares)

Production (1,000 MT)

Yield/10 ares (KG)

Total

Paddy

Upland

Total

Total, Milled

Paddy

Upland

Paddy

Upland

2010

1,628

1,625

3

8,483

7,720

8,478

5

522

189

2011

1,576

1,574

2

8,402

7,646

8,397

5

522

220

2012

1,581

1,579

2

8,523

7,756

8,519

4

540

172

2013

1,599

1,597

2

8,607

7,832

8,603

4

539

249

2014

1,575

1,573

2

8,439

7,679

8,435

4

536

257

Strong production in 2012 and 2013, coupled with high ending stock levels and declining consumption for table rice led to a significant drop in prices. Against this backdrop, Japan's food service industry shifted to domestic rice and the demand for imported rice has been low. From the beginning of JFY2014 (April) until January 2015, five Simultaneous Buy and Sell (SBS) tenders were held, in which only 8,943 MT of rice was purchased. Sources indicate that Japan is unlikely to import 100,000 MT under the SBS system as planned. Ordinary Minimum Access (OMA) rice has been imported at a similar pace to the previous year. China increased its market share of OMA rice, seizing market share from the United States and Thailand. The United States maintains its market share of SBS rice, while China and Thailand have increased their import market shares of SBS rice, capturing market share from Australia.

Japanese Rice Imports, Unit: MT

U.S.A

Thailand

China

Australia

Total

OMA

JFY2013

300,000

300,933

0

12,000

618,933

Share

48.5%

48.6%

0.0%

1.9%

100%

JFY2014*

231,000

209,950

48,000

12,000

500,950

Share

46.1%

41.9%

9.6%

2.4%

100%

SBS

JFY2013

20,046

11,173

714

26,244

60,839

Share

32.9%

18.4%

1.2%

43.1%

100%

JFY2014*

2,948

4,264

680

220

8,943

Share

33.0%

47.7%

7.6%

2.5%

100%

Source: MAFF

*Year to date (April 2014 – January 2015)

PS&D

Rice, Milled

2012/2013

2013/2014

2014/2015

Market Begin Year

Nov 2012

Nov 2013

Nov 2014

Japan

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Harvested

1,581

1,581

1,599

1,599

1,590

1,575

Beginning Stocks

2,747

2,747

2,742

2,744

2,778

2,782

Milled Production

7,756

7,756

7,832

7,832

7,700

7,679

Rough Production

10,654

10,654

10,758

10,758

10,577

10,548

Milling Rate (.9999)

7,280

7,280

7,280

7,280

7,280

7,280

MY Imports

689

691

654

656

700

700

TY Imports

690

691

650

650

700

700

TY Imp. from U.S.

283

322

0

320

0

350

Total Supply

11,192

11,194

11,228

11,232

11,178

11,161

MY Exports

200

200

200

200

200

200

TY Exports

200

200

200

200

200

200

Consumption and Residual

8,250

8,250

8,250

8,250

8,200

8,200

Ending Stocks

2,742

2,744

2,778

2,782

2,778

2,761

Total Distribution

11,192

11,194

11,228

11,232

11,178

11,161

1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA