No changes are made on the supply side of the U.S. 2009-10 rice supply and use balance sheets, says today's U.S. Department of Agriculture World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report.

On the use side, domestic and residual use is estimated at a record 136 million cwt, 4 percent above last month, and 6 percent above 2008-09. Long-grain domestic and residual use is estimated at a record 104 million cwt, 5 percent above the March estimate, while combined medium- and short-grain domestic and residual use is estimated at 32 million cwt, up 3 percent from last month.

The changes in the 2009-10 domestic and residual use estimates are based largely on the March 1 Rice Stocks report released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on March 31. NASS reported all rice stocks on a rough-equivalent basis at 108.5 million cwt, up 11 percent from a year earlier, but below trade expectations. The March 1 stocks imply greater domestic and residual use for both long-grain and combined medium- and short-grain rice.

The all rice export projection increased 3 million cwt to 103 million, with long-grain exports increased 2 million to 71 million and combined medium- and short-grain exports up 1 million to 32 million. Net sales and shipments have been strong in recent weeks for both long- and medium-grain rice. According to the U.S. Export Sales report, all rice export commitments for 2009-10 are 8 percent ahead of last year's pace as of April 1 and on par with the pace of the preceding five-year average.

Export commitments have been particularly strong to Mexico, Central America, Turkey, Japan, and Taiwan. All rice ending stocks are projected at 32.3 million cwt, 21 percent below last month, but up 6 percent from 2008-09. Long-grain stocks are estimated at 15.8 million cwt, down 29 percent from last month and the lowest stocks since 2003-04. Combined medium- and short-grain stocks are estimated at 14.1 million cwt, down 12 percent from the March projection.

The combined medium- and short-grain 2009-10 price range is projected at $17.50 to $18 per cwt, up 5 cents on each end of the range from a month ago. The long-grain price range is projected at $12.85 to $13.35 per cwt, an increase of 15 cents per cwt on each end of the range from last month. These increased revisions were based on monthly prices reported by NASS through mid-March, NASS marketings through February, and expected prices and marketings for the remainder of the marketing year. These by class revisions increased the all rice season-average price for 2009-10 to $14.05 to $14.55 per cwt, up 15 cents per cwt on both ends of the range from a month ago.

Global 2009-10 production and consumption projections increased from last month, while trade and ending stocks are lowered. World rice production increased 0.5 million tons to 440.8 million based mostly on increases for Pakistan, North Korea, Ecuador, and Peru, which are partially offset by reductions for Thailand and Burma. Global consumption increased nearly a million tons based mostly on increases for the United States, Pakistan, Burma, North Korea, and Peru.

Global exports decreased 0.5 million tons as projections are reduced for Pakistan and Burma, which are partially offset by an increase for the United States. Notable changes in global imports include reductions for Iran and the Philippines. Global ending stocks are projected at 90.2 million tons, down 0.7 million from last month and 2008-09. Stocks decreased for the United States, Iran, the Philippines, Thailand, and Burma, but increased for Pakistan.

The complete report is available from the USDA Web site.