Global trade in 2015 is barely up from last month but no longer a record as greater expected Thai exports in 2014 push overall world trade higher. Production, consumption, and stocks are down slightly for 2014/15. U.S. exports are lowered on reduced supplies.

Although Sub-Saharan Africa’s demand for imported rice has more than doubled since 2000, India and Thailand are making it difficult for other exporters to benefit. Massive stocks in both countries are forcing prices down, and Sub-Saharan Africa, notoriously price-sensitive, is buying them up. Thailand was always a large supplier, receding only briefly when prices were high due to the Paddy Pledging Scheme. India did not traditionally export much to Africa, but huge supplies and competitive prices made India the top seller the past 2 years. China, a major supplier in 2000, is virtually out of the market while newer suppliers like Vietnam, Burma, and Brazil are getting squeezed and must look elsewhere for buyers.

SELECTED TRADE CHANGES

• Thailand’s exports are raised 500,000 tons to 9.5 million in 2014 on strong demand and competitive prices.

• United States’ exports are down 100,000 tons to 3.4 million in 2015 on reduced supplies