Food Outlook by USDA

USDA lowers 2017-18 global rice supply forecast

  • USDA estimates India rice production for 2017/18 at 10.75 Cr metric tons (milled), down about 2% from last year’s record crop.
    Green paddy rice
                The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has lowered its estimate for global Rice supplies for the year 2017-18 to 61.93 Cr tons, primarily on a smaller crop projected for India. USDA estimates India rice production for 2017/18 at 10.75 Cr metric tons (milled), down about 2% from last year’s record crop. The decrease was mainly due to a drop in harvested area. Harvested area is estimated at 4.27 Cr hectares, down 4% from last month but up 1% from last year. Rough yield is estimated at 3.78 kilograms per hectare, down 1% from the previous year. World Rice consumption is estimated to down fractionally to 48.04 Cr tons in 2017-18. Global 2017-18 trade is raised to 4.49 Cr 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 4.53 Cr tons, USDA said. World ending stocks are lowered this month to 13.89 Cr tons for 2017-18, still higher than last year and at the highest level since 2000-01.
  • Rice Outlook by USDA

    Grain – World Markets & Trade by USDA

    Grain – World Markets & Trade by USDA

    Grain – World Markets & Trade by USDA

    Food Outlook by USDA

    India on pace for record rice procurement

  •  rice
    WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Riding on expected record harvest, India’s rice procurement already has surpassed the previous record of 36 million tonnes in market year 2009-10. The country’s rice procurement through May 24 is estimated at 36.9 million tonnes compared to 32.6 million tonnes during the corresponding period last year, according to a May 19 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). With additional procurement of rabi and summer rice expected to continue in eastern and southern states, India’s rice procurement in market year 2016-17 is likely to touch a record 38 million tonnes, about 4 million tonnes higher than last year and 2 million tonnes higher than the previous record. The USDA estimates India’s market year 2016-17 rice production at a record 108 million tonnes. Market year 2016-17 area is revised lower to 42.9 million hectares based on the revised official estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture. Consequently, market year 2016-17 rice yields are estimated at a record 2.51 tonnes per hectare. According to the USDA report, the normal 2016 monsoon supported timely planting, lower incidence of pest and diseases, and relatively lower harvest losses due to untimely rains at the time of harvest. The relatively higher share of high yielding non-Basmati rice compared to the long grain Basmati rice supported higher rice production in the north Indian states. Indian rice exports have been strong since the beginning of calendar year 2017 on relatively strong demand for non-Basmati rice, mainly from African countries and neighboring Bangladesh. According to preliminary official statistics, rice exports from October 2016 to March 2017 were estimated at 5.2 million tonnes compared to 4.8 million tonnes for the corresponding period last year, largely on strong resurgence in the demand for both Basmati and non-Basmati rice since December 2016. Assuming no significant changes in the price parity for Indian rice during the remaining marketing year, market year 2016-17 exports are likely to reach 11 million tonnes compared to 10.2 million tonnes in the previous year. However, any change in the import policy of the major destination country or in the value of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar may affect the export prospects in the second half of the marketing year. Market year 2017-18 rice exports are forecast at 10 million tonnes on sufficient domestic supplies, assuming continued export demand and international price parity for Indian rice. 
  • Iraq Makes First Purchase of U.S. Rice under the U.S.-Iraq Memorandum of Understanding

  • Iraq Makes First Purchase of U.S. Rice under the U.S.-Iraq Memorandum of Understanding

    May 30, 2017
    Destination: Iraq
    Iraq Makes First Purchase of US Rice, Port of Lake Charles
    ARLINGTON, VA -- With help from a last minute, full-court press by USA Rice involving Congress, the U.S. Embassy, and high-level State Department and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials, Iraq made its first-ever purchase of U.S. rice under the U.S. – Iraq Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  This sale will help U.S. rice exporters gain a foothold in the Iraqi market, and heightens prospects for new sales in the future.   Iraq’s precedent-setting purchase of 30,000 MT of U.S. long grain milled rice comes after more than 16 months without any Iraqi purchases of U.S. rice.  “We are very pleased to see that Iraq has stepped up to meet its commitment to purchase U.S. rice under this agreement,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  “This could not have come at a better time for the U.S. rice industry, and we are grateful for the cooperation of the Iraqi Grain Board (IGB) and the Ministry of Trade (MOT), and are confident that this transaction will mean more Iraqi purchases of U.S. rice in the near future.”   The 30,000 MT sale for July delivery was awarded to ADM, and comes almost a full year since the MOU was negotiated between the MOT and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.   “The USA Rice team, including our local office in Iraq, worked hand-in-glove with Congress, the State Department, and USDA over the last year to keep the pressure on, ensuring that Iraq follows through on its commitment to purchase competitively-priced U.S. grown rice under this MOU,” said Hugh Maginnis, USA Rice vice president international.  “We appreciate the teamwork and persistence of so many people who contributed to this successful sale.  This gives our rice farmers a very welcome shot in the arm.”
  • Cambodia to export more rice to China

  • May 19, 2017 - by Eric Schroeder

    WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — China is expected to become a bigger export market for Cambodian rice, with reports suggesting China will import 200,000 tonnes of rice per year from Cambodia, according to a May 15 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    The USDA said Cambodia’s rice millers have shifted their attention to the expanding Chinese market in light of new rules in the European Union that have tightened the residue limit of tricyclazole on rice. Cambodian rice farmers commonly use tricyclazole to control rice blast fungus, but effective June 2017 the E.U. said it will implement a new threshold of tricyclazole residue for white rice — 0.01 mg per kg of paddy — and in December 2017 will implement a new tricyclazole residue level for fragrant rice — at 0.01 mg per kg.

    “Amid rice millers’ concern of the E.U.’s potential ban on Cambodian rice that fails to meet the chemical residue threshold, the government of Cambodia is looking into substitute options and raising awareness of farmers on proper usage of fungicides,” the USDA said.

    Cambodia exported a total of 542,144 tonnes of milled rice in 2016, up 0.7% from 2015. China was the largest destination, importing 127,460 tonnes, a figure that is forecast to grow to 200,000 in 2017, the USDA said. The increase in demand from China is expected to outpace the potential decline in demand from traditional E.U. buyers.

    “Last December, China National Cereals, Oils, and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) approved 18 Cambodian rice millers for exporting rice to China as part of an agreement signed between COFCO and the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF),” the USDA said. “Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) selected 28 rice millers who have demonstrated competence to meet the requirements for exporting rice into China. The CRF is urging the government to facilitate more access to the China market to offset potential decrease demand from E.U.

    “The cross border rice trade is a vital pathway for Cambodia rice export into Thailand and Vietnam. However, Thailand’s reduction in stock and a production recovery this year show no signs of an increase in import demand. Meanwhile, the cross border trade with Vietnam is robust mostly because of strong demand for Cambodian rice to serve local Vietnamese consumers who prefer quality fragrant rice.”

    Overall milled rice exports are forecast to increase 5% to 570,000 tonnes in 2017, and 8% to 615,000 tonnes in 2018, the USDA said.



    The nonpartisan U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council says the first shipment of U.S. rice to Cuba in nine years apparently passed unnoticed in the ongoing debate over trade with the island nation. Based in New York, the council, which produces monthly reports on commerce involving the countries, says the comparatively small cargo of 157.8 tonnes of parboiled rice, some mixed with grain, was worth $252,000 and sailed from the Houston area. According to the council, U.S. ag exports to Cuba totaled $232 million in 2016, up by 36% from $170.6 million in 2015. Frozen chicken meat accounted for 41% of sales in 2016; soybeans, soy oil, and soy meal were 28%; and corn was 16%. Since 2012, frozen chicken has been the number one purchase by Havana, although purchases plummeted to $78 million in 2015 during the bird flu epidemic. Sales rebounded to $95 million last year. The rice shipment occurred at the end of 2016, but it takes a while for exports to be tallied by the Census Bureau and made public. Far larger rice sales, with a cumulative value of nearly $191 million, were recorded from 2002 to 2008.
    U.S. farm groups have argued for a change in law to allow private financing of ag exports to Cuba. The sales were exempted from the overall U.S. trade embargo in 2000, but payment must be made in cash upon delivery. Some $5.3 billion in U.S. goods have been sold under the terms of the 2000 law. This article was produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent, nonprofit news organization producing investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.