TRT World Rice Conference – Report from Thailand

Nov 23, 2016
The main stage
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND -- More than 500 delegates attended the two-day World Rice Conference hosted by The Rice Trader (TRT) here last week that featured speakers representing the major rice exporting and consuming markets in the world.  

The conference highlighted the global rice situation and outlook.  In India, a currency crisis developed after the government very recently discontinued use of the two largest denomination currency notes, representing more than 80 percent of the value of currency in circulation, forcing citizens to exchange those notes for new lower denomination currency.  More than 90 percent of business transactions in India are conducted in cash so this is a major disruption to the economy.  Some conference attendees indicated there may be a delay of 50-60 days in Indian rice exports due to the crisis which may open opportunities for competing Asian origins of rice.

The Thai rice industry is awaiting an announcement of the government’s reaction to current low rice prices, especially to the producer, and the fact that the government is still holding 8.2 million tons of rice in stock.  Some expect the government to initiate a subsidy scheme to put a floor under the market.

The 2016-2017 Brazilian crop may increase by more than 700,000 MT due to higher than projected yield (5.7 MT/Ha as opposed to 5.3 MT/Ha originally projected).  

From a global perspective, practically all the key non-fundamental technical indicators, such as strength of the dollar, technical price support, and prices relative to other commodities, point to a price rebound in the next 3-9 months.

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