U.S. rice ending stocks in 2012-13 are projected lower by 27 percent, with a stocks-to-use ratio of about 15 percent. “Long grain rice is accounting for most of the decline. The long-grain stocks-to-use ratio is under 10 percent, which is very tight.”

U.S. exports are projected 3 percent higher than last month, mostly long-grain rice destined for markets in Latin America. U.S. long-grain exports are projected 11 percent higher in 2012-13 with Colombia’s tariff rate quota a major factor. “Colombia had not been a significant buyer of U.S. rice at all.”

Total domestic use is projected to increase 13 percent from last year. U.S. imports are projected to increase 6 percent (38,000 tons) mostly due to large shipments of brokens from Vietnam. “We were not expecting that,” Childs said. “Brokens are mostly used in processed products.”

Total U.S. rice production is estimated 7 percent higher than last year based on a projected record U.S. yield of an estimated 7,417 pounds per acre. Arkansas and Missouri both increased area in 2012, “which had to do with recovery from weather problems in 2011. All of the other states contracted acres.”

U.S. rice area, at about 2.7 million acres this season, “was about what it was in the mid-1980s when there were substantial acreage reduction programs in effect,” Childs said.

Childs projects higher U.S. long grain, rough rice prices on strong demand for U.S. long grain rice. “The South American market is critical to this projection.”

Childs sees a slight increase in U.S. medium-short grain prices, little growth in global demand and stronger competition in the global market from Egypt and Australia.

For the United States in 2013-14, Childs projects slightly higher production costs, much smaller carryin and a small decline in long-grain area, which will more than offset higher medium-grain plantings. He projects a smaller long-grain crop, slightly larger medium and short-grain crops, a small growth in total imports and much tighter U.S. rice supplies.

For domestic demand in 2013-14, Childs sees smaller total domestic and residual use of rice, partly due to a small crop. He projects a big drop in long-grain exports due to tight supplies and reduced competitiveness. He sees a small increase in medium-short grain exports, a decrease in all-rice ending stocks, lower global trading prices, higher U.S. long-grain rough rice prices and slightly weaker U.S. medium-short grain rice prices.

Globally for 2013-14, Childs projects increased global area for 2013-14, mostly due to area expansion in South Asia (India) and South America, slightly higher average global yield, a record global crop and record total use.