• U.S Rice Production Estimates Drastically Reduced

    by Deborah Willenborg | May 17, 2017
    Sobering production estimates
    WASHINGTON, DC – USA Rice’s World Market Price Subcommittee met here yesterday to review with U.S. Department of Agriculture officials USDA’s first projections of global rice supply and demand statistics for 2017/2018, including world rice stocks, area and production estimates for the United States, and to review developments in key export markets.  Severe flooding in the mid-south, in particular in Arkansas, the top rice producing state in the country, have forced the industry to drastically reduce estimates for the coming year.

    In March, government figures estimated 2017 rice acreage in the six major rice producing states to be 2.6 million acres, down 17 percent from the previous year.  Due to weather concerns including flooding in the mid-south, actual acreage could be significantly lower.  In fact, the University of Arkansas Extension Service has estimated more than 181,000 acres of rice planted in that state lost due to the flooding.  The next official estimate from USDA on rice area will be the Acreage Report to be released on June 30 by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

    Despite lowered domestic production estimates, global stocks are projected to increase slightly, largely on the back of Chinese rice production.  

    The U.S., that typically exports half the annual rice crop, is grappling with slow overall growth on exports.  Reported export sales through early May of medium grain rough, brown, and milled rice, primarily grown in California, are up 26 percent.  Long grain rough rice is up just seven percent, but long grain milled, including brown rice, which accounts for 25 percent of exports, is off as much as 13 percent.

    “That 13 percent reduction in long grain milled exports is equal to a little more than 121,000 metric tons, which could easily be mitigated by just one rice sale to Iraq – something we used to do quite a bit of,” said Keith Glover, chairman of the subcommittee who made the same point to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in another meeting yesterday.  

    Glover pointed out that despite a Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of the United States and Iraq to purchase U.S.-grown rice, no sales have been made in more than a year.

    The industry continued to emphasize the importance of the monthly rough rice prices reporting by NASS, noting that success here is a combination of accurate reporting by the industry and comprehensive surveying by NASS of first handlers of dry rough rice.

    “USDA’s rough rice prices determine the level of PLC payments to our growers, so they have to be an accurate reflection of what’s going on in the market.  This will continue to be a focus with NASS at each of our meetings,” Glover said.

    The subcommittee also provided updates to USDA on USA Rice’s activities in Mexico, Iraq, and Taiwan, and received reports on the administration’s plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and prospects for U.S. milled rice access in China.  

    “Mexico is our number one market, and we were very clear that we want the administration to ‘do no harm’ in any NAFTA renegotiation,” said Carl Brothers of Riceland Foods, a member of the subcommittee.  “We also expressed our continued frustration with the failure to complete the opening of the China market to U.S. rice.”

    The next meeting of the subcommittee is slated for late October when harvest of this year’s crop will be underway and possibly even completed in some parts of the country.
  • USA Rice Welcomes Gil Thompson

    by Michael Klein | Apr 03, 2017
    Gil Thompson
     ITP-USA Rice Welcomes Gil Thompson-170403

    ARLINGTON, VA – USA Rice Federation is pleased to announce the hiring of Gil Thompson as Manager, International Policy. In this capacity, Gil will be working on international trade issues and producing reports on the American rice industry, including the Rice Executive, and staffing the World Market Price Subcommittee.

    Gil comes to USA Rice from the office of Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), where he worked on issues relating to financial services, veterans affairs, and related appropriations.

    Raised in Silicon Valley, Gil received his double B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He then spent two years working for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, investigating large-scale financial crimes. Afterward, Gil went on to receive his M.A. in Comparative and International Studies from ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

    “We look forward to Gil’s contribution on preserving and opening up rice markets globally as well as his assistance across USA Rice’s program areas,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings. 

  • World Market Price Meeting Focuses on Flooding, Foreign Competition

    by Deborah Willenborg | Oct 20, 2016
    Keith Glover
    WASHINGTON, DC -- Tuesday, the World Market Price subcommittee held their final meeting of 2016 here where USA Rice Members met with representatives from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Economic Research Service (ERS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to discuss a variety of domestic and international issues facing the rice industry.

    On the domestic front, the main topic was the recent flooding in Louisiana and Arkansas. Representatives from USDA were asked how they were helping rice farmers affected by the flooding, and what sort of impact these events would have on supply and demand.  

    "We shared important information about the impacts of flooding in Louisiana and Arkansas with representatives from NASS, FSA, and ERS,” said Keith Glover, chairman of the USA Rice World Market Price Subcommittee.  “As an industry, we have to make sure the government understands what is going on in these areas right now.  

    Glover said, “Representatives from each rice producing state also shared with USDA their observations about this year’s rice crop with regard to average field yields and milling quality for their state.  And FSA reported that Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments are on schedule.”

    On the international front, FAS representatives reported on U.S. export markets including information that some competitors continue to practice illegal price support and export subsidies, making this a potentially difficult environment for U.S. rice.  

    Glover remarked, “The rice industry is dealing with low prices, large stocks, and an even larger crop for 2016/17 so it is imperative we find more export markets.  Our meeting with USDA focused on both short-term ways to export U.S. rice and long-term moves to secure access to important markets.”
  • World Market Price Subcommittee Discusses Reporting Discrepancies, China, Iraq, and Remedies for Unfair Trade Practices

    by Colleen Klem | May 18, 2016
    Nathan Childs of NASS and Keith Glover
    ITP- World Market Price Subcommittee Gets Briefing on Antidumping and Countervailing Duties Remedies 160518 

    WASHINGTON, DC – The World Market Price subcommittee of USA Rice’s International Trade Committee met here this morning to discuss the domestic and global outlook for rice with representatives from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the World Agriculture Outlook Board, the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), all agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

    The subcommittee meets three times per year and the open dialogue between industry and the government are valuable to each.

    Today, members of the subcommittee told NASS representatives that the 2016/17 projected planted acres in California were very low in the agency’s March Prospective Plantings report, and could, in fact, be 25 percent higher. Members also discussed the adjustment of ending stocks for 2015/16 reported by World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) that showed a jump from 90 million metric tons to 106 million metric tons between the April and May reports. Discussion focused on increases made in the WASDE to China’s rice stock numbers, which had the effect of raising global stocks.  Information on rice stocks in China is not public, and even small percentage changes in China’s supply and utilization estimates can have a significant impact on the global balance sheet. 

    The subcommittee also heard from the Department of Commerce about antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – two important trade remedies under U.S. law to counter unfair foreign pricing and subsidies, (more on this in tomorrow’s USA Rice Daily).

    Staff from FAS provided an update on the status of a phytosanitary agreement to export U.S. rice to China that remains initialed but not yet signed, and other key U.S. rice markets, including the tenuous political situation in Iraq where a sale of 90,000 metric tons of U.S. rice was recently completed, and Colombia where a new tender for more than 13,000 metric tons will go live just in advance of a USA Rice delegation traveling there next month.

    “Today's meeting was full of important information for the U.S. rice industry as we face a projected increase in production in 2016/17,” said Keith Glover, Chairman of the World Market Price subcommittee. “Learning about the global trade outlook and about U.S. trade remedies for unfair competition will help us develop and preserve export markets.”

    The next meeting of the subcommittee will be on October 19, 2016.


  • Accurate Rough Rice Price Reporting Critical to the Industry

    by Colleen Klem | Mar 23, 2016

    ARLINGTON, VA-- Many in the rice industry are in the process of completing the National Agriculture Statistic Service's (NASS) monthly Rough Rice price questionnaire for March 2016. This questionnaire requests rough rice purchasers indicate the price paid at the first point of sale for each transaction this month. The results of the questionnaire are used to calculate Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments under the Farm Bill, so accuracy is critical to producers and the entire rice industry.

    USA Rice's World Market Price Subcommittee has met frequently with NASS representatives to clearly understand NASS's expectations for rough rice price reporting and to communicate these expectations throughout the industry to ensure that rough rice prices are being reported correctly; that is, the price of rough rice at the first point of sale, not including transportation and other charges.  As a result of these discussions, the subcommittee recommends that purchase contracts reflect separate freight and/or storage charges from the cost of the rough rice itself, for easier reporting in NASS's monthly questionnaires.

    "If dried rough rice is purchased f.o.b. (free on board) from the farmer's grain bin, only the price of the rice should be reported. Any payment for storage or hauling should not be included in the reported rice price," said Keith Glover, chairman of the World Market Price Subcommittee and president and CEO of Producers Rice Mill.  "The real challenge is when a buyer buys dried rough rice on a delivered mill, elevator or barge loading facility basis.  Unless the buyer specifically identifies within the contract the amount of the total price being paid to the farmer for other services like hauling, the buyer has to report the total delivered price."

    Under such a scenario, the average cash price reported to NASS would be overstated by the cost of hauling, thus resulting in a higher than otherwise national average cash price, which has the impact of reducing PLC payments to all U.S. farmers. 

    "For the sake of helping our farmers during these challenging times, it is extremely important that the most accurate average cash price possible for dried rough rice be reported each month to NASS," added Glover. "Any first hand buyer of rough rice from U.S. farmers that is not currently reporting average purchase prices on a monthly basis to USDA really needs to contact their state's NASS office in order to be added to the reporting list."


    Contact information for these offices are as follows:

    Arkansas Regional Field Office (serves AR, LA, MS)

    Contact person: Ruben McCann or Terry Matthews

    Phone number: 501-228-9926


    California Regional Office

    Contact person: Anthony Fischer or Jennifer Van Court

    Phone number: 916-498-5161


    Missouri Regional Field Office

    Contact person: Matthew Henderson or Steve Maliszewski

    Phone number: 314-595-9594


    Texas Regional Field Office

    Contact person: Kim Dapra or Betty Johnson

    Phone number: 512-916-5581

  • USA Rice Hosts First World Market Price Meeting of 2016

    by Lee Brinckley | Feb 25, 2016
    Click here to hear Keith Glover explain the three World Market Price meetings held each year.
    WASHINGTON, DC -- This morning, the USA Rice World Market Price Subcommittee (WMP) met here to discuss planting prospects for the coming year, rice price reporting to National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and trade issues facing the rice industry.  Also at the meeting were representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Economic Research Service (ERS), and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

    Traditionally, the first WMP meeting starts with a conversation with NASS about prospective plantings for the coming year.  Farmers and mill members representing the six rice states were unanimous in agreement that planted area in 2016 for their respective states would be higher than 2015 area.  The group also discussed Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments for 2014 with NASS and FSA representatives, and questioned how sequestration might affect payment for 2015.

    FAS updated the group on a range of global trade and phytosanitary topics including the potential for more fortified rice purchases for food aid, a review of meetings with the administration earlier this week on TPP and WTO Compliance issues, and ongoing concerns with tenders for U.S. rice in Iraq.  

    WMP Chairman Keith Glover said, “We had a chance to talk about some pretty big issues with USDA today.  There are a lot of sensitive topics the U.S. rice industry is grappling with, and we appreciate the chance to get some clarity and fill out our position for the future.  It was especially poignant to have the new graduates of the Rice Development Leadership Class attending to see how we handle obstacles and opportunities within the World Market Price Subcommittee.”

    The next World Market Price meeting will take place in Washington, DC on May 18, 2016.
  • World Market Price Subcommittee: PLC Payment Timelines and Trade

    by Deborah Willenborg | Oct 21, 2015
    Double-checking the facts and figures
    Oct 2015 WMP Subcmte
    WASHINGTON, DC -- This morning, the World Market Price Subcommittee (WMP) met here with representatives from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to discuss a variety of issues in the global rice trade affecting the U.S. rice industry.

    While reviewing recent reports of rice yield from NASS, Subcommittee members found projected yields from Texas to be too high and those from California to be far too low.  Members also questioned FSA about the statistics of Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments for the 2014 crop.  While payments under the new program were expected quickly and in-full this coming November, FSA agreed to clarify its timeline and report back to USA Rice.  (See USA Rice Chairman Dow Brantley’s comments on the topic.)

    The Subcommittee discussed global policy issues including details of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Because the U.S. government has not yet released the official text of the deal, possible ramifications for the U.S. rice industry are speculative at this point.  The Subcommittee was interested in what could be discovered about the deal between the U.S. and Japan, as well as what duties will continue to exist between Mexico and Vietnam, as both countries, one a critical destination for U.S. rice, the other a strong competitor, are also signatories to the TPP.

    Chairman Keith Glover welcomed new participants onto the subcommittee for the 2015-17 term, and afterwards said, “The meeting today was productive and educational.  We appreciate the participation of NASS, ERS, FSA, and FAS, and look forward to receiving clarification about the status of PLC payments from the 2014 crop.”

    The next World Market Price meeting will take place in February 2016, following the close of the Government Affairs Conference (GAC).
  • World Market Price Subcommittee Talks Acreage, Iraq, and Cuba

    by User Not Found | May 13, 2015
    USA Rice's Betsy Ward (l.) and Sarah Moran literally talk Turkey with The Rice Trading Company CEO Jay Kapila.
    WASHINGTON, DC -- The World Market Price Subcommittee met here this morning with representatives from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).  

    Members noted that rice acres in California may be below those indicated in the NASS Prospective Plantings report issued this spring. 

    Members also reviewed NASS rice price reporting questionnaires. NASS reiterated that it is looking only for reported transactions of rough rice at the point of first sale, excluding transportation and other charges from farmers’ bins to the point of sale.  However, NASS does not adjust data received on rough rice purchases.  Subcommittee members agreed that this explanation provided more clarity about the reporting of rough rice transactions at the first point of sale.

    Discussions with representatives of FAS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) focused on trade with Cuba and Turkey, and the U.S. rice industry’s ongoing difficulty with the lack of transparency and predictability in Iraq’s rice tender process.  

    “We’ve started the process of looking for an Iraqi contractor to assist our efforts on the ground in Baghdad,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  “This is a recommendation that we received during our meeting last week in Washington with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones, and we believe it has merit and worth pursuing.  We need to look at all options that can help us return Iraq as a steady customer for U.S. rice.”

    Chairman Keith Glover said, “This was a very positive meeting, with a lot of productive conversation.  And, as always, we appreciate USDA’s participation.”

    The next World Market Price Subcommittee meeting will be in October. 

    Contact:  Kristen Dayton (703) 236-1464