Volume 18, Issue 37
September 24, 2021
In This Issue:
  • USRPA Announces the Creation of the Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship
  • Thailand Rice Sales to Iraq Not Good News for U.S. Export Efforts
  • Washington DC Update
USRPA Announces the Creation of the
Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship
On Wednesday, the US Rice Producers Association (USRPA) announced the creation of the Ray Stoesser Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of former USRPA board member Ray Stoesser. Stoesser’s family, in partnership with USRPA, created the scholarship program to celebrate the late farmer’s legacy and support the agriculture leaders of tomorrow. An active US Rice Producers Association board member and a third-generation farmer of more than 50 years, Stoesser was passionate about three things: his faith, his family, and agriculture. While he loved nearly every aspect of his decades-long career as a rice producer, he was particularly passionate about expanding opportunities in agriculture for the next generation.
 
In addition to receiving a $5000 scholarship to support their academic pursuits, the selected recipient will serve as a student ambassador for USRPA with an expectation of participating in at least two activities during the calendar year, including Field Days, legislative activities, conferences, and more.
 
“USRPA is thrilled to partner with the Stoesser family to create this opportunity for the agriculture leaders of tomorrow,” Marcela Garcia, President and CEO of USRPA, said. “These students are our industry’s future and we’re proud to support them.”
 
Current high school seniors, undergraduate, and graduate students are eligible to apply. Applicants should have the intent of pursuing a career in an agriculture-related field. The application is now available online at usriceproducers.com/scholarship. Applications are due Wednesday, December 15.
 
The US Rice Producers Association, representing rice producers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas, is the only national rice producers’ organization comprised by producers, elected by producers, and representing producers in all six rice-producing states.
Thailand Rice Sales to Iraq Not Good News for U.S. Export Efforts
Harvest is in full swing in Arkansas, and the optimistic yield projections are ringing true. All through Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri, yields are coming in strong; however, the same can’t be said for early milling yields. While field yields are clearly above regional averages, milling yields are registering below regional averages at this point. Arkansas and Mississippi are both over 50% complete, while Missouri and north Louisiana are lagging at closer to 25% complete. The rice simply isn’t drying out in the fields, but that is looking to change this week with a changing weather front. It is important to note that the strong field yields are not having a material impact on pricing expectations at this point; the 15% reduction in acreage has served as a corresponding counterweight.

In Asia, Vietnam is openly shying away from signing new contracts because exports are so difficult to execute. Whether a lack of manpower, a lack of containers, or port congestion and delays, one of the world’s top exporters is pumping to brakes in order to prevent defaults. Exports from Vietnam to Malaysia have dropped nearly 60% in volume this year. There is news from Thailand this week that will likely have an impact on the U.S. rice industry. After a seven-year ban, Iraq has booked its first business with Thailand for rice exports. It’s a well-known fact that origins in South America, like Uruguay, and the United States have been hoping for continued demand from Iraq to provide additional market support. However, this newest agreement with Thailand has the potential to weigh down the market in the Western Hemisphere.

A USDA GAIN report on Mexico shows a decrease in production estimates for the 2020/21 marketing year. The expectations have revised downward to 290,000 metric tons of rough production (199,000 MT of milled rice) on lower than anticipated yields due to adverse weather conditions. This has a corresponding upward revision in trade from 800,000 metric tons up to 825,000 metric tons, which bodes well for the U.S. industry.

The weekly USDA Export Sales report shows net sales of 28,800 metric tons, which is down 9% from last week and 41% from the four-week average. South Korea had the lion’s share at 20,000 metric tons, with the balance coming from Canada, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Exports of 19,800 metric tons are down 76% from last week, and 66% from the four-week average. Destinations were to Japan, Mexico, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. These decreases are largely a timing issue, as the Iraq business has increased overall exports over 100% year over year at this time.

The futures market has turned out to be more resilient than anticipated, largely on account of the most recent Supply/Demand report. Weekly session lows registered at 13.515, and highs reached 13.90. Average daily volume was at 498, a 10.5% drop from last week, and Open Interest was 8,405, a 4.2% increase from last week.
$21M rice mill should be complete by next harvest
Published 8:49 pm
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
JENNINGS — Construction is set to begin later this fall on a new $21 million rice mill at the Lacassine Industrial Park.

The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury unanimously approved a recommendation Wednesday from the South Louisiana Rail Facility to award the construction bid to Hogenson Construction Company of West Fargo, N.D.
Washington Update
Continuing Resolution
 
On Tuesday, the House approved a continuing resolution, on a 220-211 party-line vote, that would extend government funding through December 3 and prevent a government shutdown. The bill also includes a provision to temporarily extend the public debt limit through December 16, 2022, after mid-term elections. 

In addition to extending FY 2021 appropriations, the bill provides an additional $10 billion to cover losses from natural disasters occurring in 2020 and 2021, an extension of the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), and $275 million for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) to help communities address damages to infrastructure caused by natural disasters. The bill also includes funding to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation for drought response, including $200 million for western drought response activities and $10 million for fire remediation activities and firefighting costs.

Senate Republicans have stated that they would not support the bill, releasing their own version of the continuing resolution shortly after. The Senate Republicans’ version includes the $10 billion for WHIP+, with the provision allowing losses in 2020 and 2021 to be covered, and the $275 million for EWP. The bill does not include an extension of the public debt limit and reinserts $1 billion for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system that was removed earlier during House consideration to appease House progressives.

Congress must pass a continuing resolution before the end of the fiscal year to prevent a government shutdown on October 1.


Supply Chain Czar
President Biden has appointed former Deputy Transportation Secretary John Porcari as the Port Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.

The Task Force is working to address supply and demand discrepancies that occur across several sectors of the economy. Envoy Porcari will work closely with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who leads the Task Force, and the National Economic Council to address the persistent congestion at U.S. ports.

Since 2019, shipping disruptions and increased demand have increased the cost of shipping containers between the U.S. and China over 90%. West Coast ports, including the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, have been particularly affected. Envoy Porcari will work with stakeholders to address the increasing backlog and associated delivery delays.

Porcari served as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Transportation during the Obama-Biden administration and was directly involved in overseeing maritime policy and maritime-related competitive programs. 
While New Orleans continues to slowly improve port conditions as a result of Hurricane Ida, farmers in Southwest Louisiana continue to move rough rice out of the Port of Lake Charles. This week the South Louisiana Rail Facility (SLRF) is loading another vessel for Granos Patron. Bound for the Port of Veracruz, Granos Patron is a major mill located in Ecatepec, Mexico. Over 40 farmers are participating in this week’s shipment. The SLRF has also been actively sending rough rice by rail.
Cornerstone Trade Update
Food & Ag
Regulatory & Policy Roundup 
FAS/Manila raises MY 21/22 rice imports by 100,000 metric tons (MT) to 2.2 million MT based on expected improving economic conditions and an upturn in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearances in July and August 2021.
MY2021/22 rice production remains unchanged at 21 million metric tons. Post revised down Thai rice exports to 5.8 million metric tons in 2021 due to high freight costs and a lack of available shipping containers.
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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p. (713) 974-7423
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