Volume 17, Issue 18
May 7, 2020
In This Issue:
  • Market Update: Overseas Buyers Sourcing Available Rice
  • Washington DC Update
Market Update: Overseas Buyers Sourcing Available Rice Origins
The rice market continues to be very quiet from both an old and new crop standpoint. Old crop is fully committed at this time and as such is unavailable for trade while new crop is still such a wildcard that very little business is being done in that market segment either. Add in the coronavirus confusion and the market is at a standstill. 

In the government reports for the week, export sales were up considerably against the previous week’s values and are indicative of overseas buyers sourcing rice from wherever there is availability. Many of the states are beginning to open for business which is lending more strength to their ability to complete trades. Vessel loadings were also substantially stronger. In addition to shipping against old sales, these numbers suggest that volume is moving through the system faster than is normal at this time. Asian pricing has plateaued against last week’s indicators (some origins have even softened slightly). These changes are reflective of both exchange rates as well as demand side fundamentals in that region. It should be noted that multiple origins are providing indicator bids only as actual trade is frozen until after the lockdowns are lifted. 

USDA lowered its world market price estimate for the week over both classes of rice. The net gains seen over the past two months have been significant and rapid and some cooling off can be expected. Until the new crop uncertainty is mitigated to a greater extent, additional fluctuations in this indicator should be anticipated over the coming weeks. 

In the domestic market, most of the rice along the gulf coast is planted and emerged while the mid-delta is about halfway done. The upper delta is working against weather but should be catching up rapidly as windows present themselves. Just for comparison, the progress of the crop is well ahead of historical schedule. The futures market for the week has continued to surge in the old crop contracts as the market remains pinched while the new crop contracts have softened up a bit on a large expected crop. This is all consistent with fundamental market behavior and is in encouraging to see that the factors are beginning to “behave” more properly. 

The monthly WASDE report will be released next week which will give additional information as to how USDA projects the crop to trade. June will see a significant amount of reporting as well, at which time we will be able to incorporate official acreage into the analysis. Even though it has been a game of “hurry up and wait” the rice market looks at this point to be one of the lesser scathed commodities.

Federal COVID-19 relief for farmers, ranchers
Texas A&M publication identifies federal COVID-19 relief most applicable to agricultural producers
The Texas A&M Agricultural and Food Policy Center has developed a briefing paper that identifies provisions most applicable to agricultural producers in the three recent Congressional interventions to stimulate the economy and provide COVID-19 relief.

“This publication will direct farmers and ranchers to helpful resources for financial relief in order to remain operational until the situation improves,” said Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D., vice chancellor for Texas A&M AgriLife , dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research .
The Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University has identified COVID-19 relief most applicable to farmers and ranchers. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Kay Ledbetter)
Washington Update
Where is the CFAP?

As many remember on April 17th, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that will provide $19 billion in relief to agriculture. CFAP uses the funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and other USDA existing authorities (e.g. CCC). The program includes two major elements direct support to farmers and ranchers and USDA commodity purchase and distribution.  

Sources indicate that the proposal was officially submitted to OMB on Monday for interagency review, so now USDA is waiting for OMB to complete their review. Once OMB completes their review USDA should be able to post a final rule in the federal register. USDA is still hoping to conduct a sign-up before the end of the May.

Rumors indicate that there are several specifics that need to be finalized. For example, specialty crops have a number of issues along with the always contentious payment limit issue. There has been increasing pressure particularly from the specialty crop and livestock sector to raise/eliminate payment limits. Although initial reports said that USDA would post the rule this week, most are expecting it to slip until next week at the earliest.  
Follow #OurFarmers During #Plant2020
It’s planting season, and our team is closely following spring planting across the country. We encourage you to follow along with our  #plant2020 campaign , or even better, send us photos of how planting is going on your farm.
Upcoming Events
May 20, 2020
National Feed & Grain Association Webinar: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
COVID-19 Updates for Grain, Feed and Processing Industry: OSHA Guidance and Workplace Health and Safety Issues

June 30, 2020
Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Rice Field Day
David R. Wintermann Rice Research Station, FM 202 just north of Eagle Lake, Texas. Field tour in late afternoon, then move to the Eagle Lake Community Center for dinner and a business meeting. More details to come.

July 1, 2020
H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station Annual Field Day
Crowley, Louisiana. Tours early in the morning, followed by presentations inside. Check back later for more information.

July 9, 2020
73rd Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Rice Field Day
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1509 Aggie Drive in Beaumont, Texas. More details to come.

July 23, 2020
University of Arkansas Row Crops Field Day
Rohwer Research Station
140 Experiment Station Loop, Watson, Arkansas – check back later for more information.

August 5, 2020
University of Arkansas Row Crops Field Day
Northeast Research & Extension Center
1241 W. County Road 780, Keiser, Arkansas – check back later for more information.

August 7, 2020
University of Arkansas Rice Field Day
Rice Research & Extension Center, Stuttgart, Arkansas – check back later for more information.
the big unknown for both the remaining months of MY2019/20 and for MY2020/21 is the impact of COVID-19 on the grain balances
The FAO All Rice Price Index (2002-2004=100) increased by 15.9 points (7 percent) in April 2020 to reach 248.2 points, it’s highest level since December 2011. 
WEBINAR: Wed, May 20, 2020 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT

COVID-19 Updates for Grain, Feed and Processing Industry:
OSHA Guidance and Workplace Health and Safety Issues
Regional Crop Reports

Planting and Crop Progress Advancing Rapidly Across Regions
H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station News
Preparing U.S. Rice for a Parched Future
Like people, some plants handle stress better than others.
Now, in a recent issue of  Agronomy , a team of Agricultural Research Service ( ARS ) and university scientists report their identification of U.S. rice varieties with the right "genetic" stuff for coping with reduced water use.

25722 Kingsland Blvd.
Suite 203
Katy, TX 77494
p. (713) 974-7423
f. (713) 974-7696
e. info@usriceproducers.com
We Value Your Input!

Send us updates, photos, questions or comments!