Volume 18, Issue 38
October 1, 2021
In This Issue:
  • Rice Market Continues a Complicated Path at Every Turn
  • Washington DC Update
Rice Market Continues Complicated Path at Every Turn
Harvest continues in Arkansas at about 75% complete, where yields remain strong and head rice appears weak. Cash prices are also consistent, now sitting about $13.85/cwt delivered, but more milled business will have to materialize for it to remain. Mississippi is about 50% complete, with bids now at about $13.50/cwt delivered to a loading facility. With Iraq finding refuge in Thai purchases, it appears they are done buying for the balance of the year. Haiti is becoming increasingly disorganized, and the NGO surge to fill the void of government purchases appears to be over. Paddy sales are firm, but being able to deliver on shipment schedules is increasingly difficult with the aftermath of hurricanes on top of the now “standard” problems.

The woes in the freight market are no longer isolated only to those directly involved in trade and/or logistics—global retail customers are about to have a rude awakening based on reports this week heading into the holiday season. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) issued an open letter to the United Nations General Assembly warning of a “global transport system collapse” if governments don’t restore freedom of movement to transport workers and give them priority to received vaccines recognized by the WHO. This news comes at the same time as the maiden voyage of the largest ever container ship, “Ever Ace.” However, those familiar with the global supply chain constraints note that adding capacity to an already congested trade line does nothing to solve the fundamental problems of container port capacity and storage space—adding more material into a clogged system won’t alleviate the problem. Shipping problems will continue to be a part of the system well into 2022.

In Asia, the market remains largely unchanged. Thai prices sit at $390 per metric ton, Viet prices continue to be elevated at $430 per metric ton, and India now sits well below at $355 per metric ton. Pakistan sits just above India at $365 per metric ton but is having trouble gaining market traction on account of logistics.

A recent GAIN report on Pakistan reveals a decrease in the rice production forecast due to lower-than-average monsoon rains. Expectations have been reduced by almost 4%, from 8.2 million tons down to 7.9 million tons. The production reduction is only half of the story though; exports will also be reduced because of high shipping costs, thin container availability, and stiff competition from India. Nine months into the marketing year, Pakistan has exported 2.99 million tons of rice, 8% below last year’s pace which was at 3.5 million tons.

In South America, this historic drought of the Rio Parana in Paraguay is cause for significant concern. As the continent’s second-largest waterway behind only the Amazon, the importance of this trade artery to the rice sector cannot be understated. The low water levels are preventing barge movements, creating further bottlenecks for rice, soybeans, and other commodities in the region. The dry cycle of La Nina is looming, providing no respite in the near future.

The weekly USDA Export Sales report registered 75,100 metric tons of sales this week, up significantly from last week and the prior four-week average. Increases were largely timing-based for medium grain tenders to Japan (39,300 MT) and Taiwan (12,000 MT). Guatemala shows 6,000 MT, El Salvador 5,400 MT, and Canada 3,900 MT. Exports of 54,800 were also up from the previous week, and up 29% from the four-week average. Iraq recorded 43,100 MT, while Canada, Mexico, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia each registered just under 3,000 MT.
Washington Update
On Thursday, the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution on a vote of 65-35. The continuing resolution will maintain spending at current levels while allowing Congress until Dec 3 to work out an agreement on a broader spending package or enact another Continuing Resolution. An earlier attempt to pass a Continuing Resolution failed because it included a provision which would waive the debt limit. The bill also includes $10 billion for agriculture producer assistance for 2020 and 2021 losses. Senate approval sends the Continuing Resolution to the House where it is expected to be expeditiously passed and sent to the President for approval to avoid a government shutdown at midnight.

Appointments—
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C. They include the following:
Linda Delgado was appointed Senior Advisor in the Office of the Secretary. Delgado most recently served as the Director of Government Affairs at Oxfam America. She has extensive experience in the environmental, agricultural, and forestry issues from her time as a Fellow at Ecotrust, a Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute, and the Co-Director of the Forest Program and Global Forest Watch. Delgado is returning to USDA, having previously served as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary and a Senior Advisor to the Secretary from 1998 to 2001. She was a legislative assistant in several Congressional offices prior to her time at USDA. She has a Master of Business Administration in International Relations from American University and degrees in International Finance and Psychology from Tufts University.

Marni Karlin was appointed as Senior Advisor for Organic and Emerging Markets. Karlin joins USDA with two decades of experience in policy and the organic and emerging agricultural markets space – including consulting with stakeholders across the organic sector from producers to certifiers, service as Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel of the Organic Trade Association, and serving as the founding Executive Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Food Safety Coalition. Karlin has several years of government experience, including time as Counsel to Senator Herb Kohl and Counsel for the Antitrust Modernization Commission. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and Politics from George Washington University. Karlin also has a certification in global organic leadership from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Organic Leadership Academy.

Marcia Moore will serve as Director of the Office of the Executive Secretariat. Most recently, Moore served as the Chief of Personnel and Administration and a Committee Management Senior Analyst at the Department of Defense. With more than 23 years of federal service, Moore returns to USDA where she previously managed the Agricultural Research Service’s Office of Scientific Quality Review, USDA’s Committee Management Program, and environmental policy analysis. She also worked as the Executive Director of the Food Advisory Committee at the Department of Health and Human Services. Moore has her Bachelor’s in Business Management and Biology from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI, and her Master’s in Science Communication from Johns Hopkins University.

Shawn Campbell was appointed Legislative Analyst in the Office of Congressional Relations. Campbell joins USDA after over five years of service in the legislative branch. Most recently, he served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. Prior, Campbell worked for Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut as a Legislative Correspondent, Correspondence Assistant and Staff Assistant. Campbell graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in African American Studies. He is a native of Hartford, Connecticut.
Mark Pousson (left), Louisiana rice farmer, visits with Pedro Schettino (right), a major buyer of US paddy rice in Mexico. The Louisiana Independent Rice Producers Association and the South Louisiana Rail Facility count on paddy exports, the main exports these days.

Currently, SLRF is delivering for its 5th vessel of paddy exports.
Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship
In partnership with the US Rice Producers Association, the Stoesser family is offering a $5,000 scholarship to one deserving high school senior or current college student who is interested in or is currently pursuing a career in an agriculture-related field. 
Cornerstone Trade Update
Food & Ag
Regulatory & Policy Roundup 
Arkansas
Rice
Update
Horizon Ag Arkansas Field Day Videos Now Available
The rice production estimate for MY 2020/21 is revised slightly downward to 209,000 MT (rough production) on lower than expected yields due to adverse weather conditions.
Upcoming Events
Oct. 7, 2021
Register to hear the latest in rice and soybean research from research and extension experts on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.
Oct. 14 - 17, 2021
The 84th International Rice Festival: The rice festival will return to Crowley, Louisiana, after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mar. 4, 2022
34th Annual Arkansas Agricultural Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon: Embassy Suites, Little Rock, Arkansas – event details and tickets (RESCHEDULED)




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