Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
Australia Medium Grain Rice #1 $ N/A    Egypt 101 #2 $760    Egypt 178 #2 Rice $730    EU Prices Baldo €660    EU Prices LG-A Ariete 5% €550    EU Prices MG Lotto 5% €500    EU Prices RG Balilla 5% €500    Russia Rapan $ 700    USA Jupiter Paddy $375    USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480    USA Jupiter Rice $630    USA Calrose #1 $830   

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Commodity price surge powered by supply-demand tension
The fever sending raw material prices ever higher seems sure to spread to agricultural commodities, where markets are already feeling the effects of increased export taxes on cereals in China and Russia, strong global demand, a grim harvest in Australia and stepped-up speculation.

China has just announced the imposition, effective January 1, of export duty on cereals, rice and soya of between 5.0 and 25 percent.

Simultaneously, Russia reported a near five-fold increase on cereals export duties for the next three months from 22 to 105 euros per tonne, a move that effectively removes Moscow from the international market.

Those developments came as Argentina suspended wheat exports until further notice and amid reports of a major reduction in Australian grain output due to drought.

Under such circumstances, only big exporters such as the United States, Canada and Kazakhstan are left to fill the gap. France, the European Union's largest cereals producer, has also endured a nasty harvest, analysts noted.

And with crude oil futures crossing the 100-dollar-a-barrel threshold, pressure is building for the promotion of alternative energies, thereby sparking demand for wheat and corn, the raw materials for bioethanol, or soya, which furnishes biodiesel.

Repercussions on the Chicago market were clearly evident last week. Soya futures closed Wednesday at 12.3250 dollars (8.35 euros), just 60 cents short of their 1973 historic high of 12.90 dollars.

Wheat commodity prices for March delivery were up 30 cents, the maximum daily growth rate authorised by the Chicago Board of Trade. March corn prices also closed with a gain of 7.50 cents).

"Stocks are sitting at historic floor levels, and any further restrictions on exports can only lead to higher prices," stated cereals market analyst at the FAO.

He said the impact on the market was primarily psychological, as the "the vast majority of exportable Russian cereals had already moved."

But if China and Russia have enough grain reserves for their domestic markets, authorities there are concerned about a resurgence in inflation and rising prices for basic foodstuffs.

They are trying to send out the message, sometimes election-driven as in Russia, that "as long as prices (keep) rising, they won't allow cereal resources to leave the country".

Given that the FAO world food price index jumped almost 40 percent in 2007, expects the trend to continue "until early April," when estimated yields for the 2008 harvest will become a little clearer.

Demand from emerging nations continues to grow sharply. "On December 31, we were still receiving inquiries from Pakistan for 610,000 tonnes of wheat and another 50,000 from Bangladesh," FAO.

Analysts from merchant bankers expect the sharp upturn in raw materials values to continue this year, particularly in agricultural commodities, where they have raised their price outlook in the last three weeks, including a projected 60 percent increase in soya
MGR Archive 7.1.2008
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