Rice poised for record weekly drop

CHICAGO — Prices for rice, a staple food for half the world, are heading for the biggest weekly decline since 2011 as US crop conditions improve at a time when Thailand is vying to become the world’s largest exporter.

Sixty-nine percent of the US rice crop was rated in good or excellent condition on June 1, up for a second straight week and the highest for the date since 2010, Department of Agriculture data show. Thailand may export 9 million tonnes in 2014, up from 7.5 million forecast in February, replacing India as the top shipper, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said this week.

Rising grain inventories are helping to keep global food costs in check, with the United Nations saying that world prices fell for a second month in May. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Agricultural Index of eight crops is headed for a sixth straight weekly drop, the longest slump since October 2011. US farmers are poised to collect record corn and soybean crops, a Bloomberg survey showed.

“US crop conditions have been reported very good, and that has contributed to the speculative selling this week,” said Neauman Coleman, president of Neauman Coleman & Co in Brinkley, Arkansas. “Uncertainty about Thailand’s rice policies also helped to depress market sentiment.”

Rough-rice futures for July delivery rose 0.2% to $14.11 per 100 pounds at 12.59pm on the Chicago Board of Trade. A close at that price would mark a weekly drop of 5.8%, the most since September 2011.

On Friday, the grain touched $14.07, the lowest since June 18, 2012.

Global inventories before this year’s harvest will climb to 111.25 million tonnes, the highest in 12 years, the USDA said last month. Prices for 5% broken Thai white rice, an Asian benchmark, slumped 28% in the past year and have tumbled 62% from a record reached in 2008.

An index of 55 food items dropped 1.2% to 207.8 points from a restated 210.3 points in April, UN data showed yesterday. World food prices are down 3.2% from a year earlier.

Share your thoughts

Back to top

More From Bangkokpost.com