USDA’s Economic Research Service is projecting a U.S. rice yield for 2007-08 of 190.4 million hundredweight, 2 percent smaller than the 2006 crop.

The first survey-based estimate of the U.S. rice crop, released Aug. 15, estimates average U.S. yields of 6,984 pounds per acre, just 4 pounds below the 2004-05 record.

Arkansas rice yields are estimated at 6,950 pounds per acre for this year, up from 6,850 pounds in 2006. Yield projections for other states are: California, 8,000 pounds, up from 7,660 pounds last year; Louisiana, 5,900 pounds, up from 5,820 pounds; Mississippi, 7,100 pounds, up from 7,000 pounds; Missouri, 6,700 pounds; up from 6,400 pounds; and Texas, 6,800 pounds down from 7,179 pounds.

Total supplies of all rice in 2007-08 are forecast at 253.8 million hundredweight, up fractionally from last month’s forecast, but still down almost 2 percent from a year earlier. Beginning stocks remain projected at 41.9 million hundredweight, down 3 percent from a year earlier, with long-grain accounting for all of the year-to-year decline. Imports remain projected at a record 21.5 million hundredweight, 2 percent larger than a year earlier.

Total use of U.S. rice in 2007-08 remains projected at 226.7 million hundredweight. Total domestic and residual use remains projected at a record 124.7 million hundredweight, 2 percent larger than a year earlier. Exports remain projected at 102 million hundredweight, 10 percent higher than a year earlier.

U.S. ending stocks for 2007-08 are projected at 27.1 million hundredweight, up 400,000 hundredweight from last month’s forecast, but down 35 percent from a year earlier. The 2007-08 U.S. season-average farm price remains projected at $9.75 to $10.25 per hundredweight, up from $9.68 per hundredweight a year earlier, with the midpoint the highest since 1980-81.

Global rice production for 2007-08 is projected at a record 421.2 million tons (milled basis), fractionally above last month’s forecast and up 3.1 million tons from 2006-07. India accounts for most of this month’s upward revision in global production.

Global ending stocks for 2007-08 are projected to drop 5 percent to 73.8 million tons, the smallest since 1983-84. Global rice trade for calendar year 2008 is projected at a record 29.7 million tons (milled basis), nearly unchanged from last month, but up fractionally from a year earlier.

Export price quotes for most grades of Thailand’s regular-milled white rice are nearly unchanged from a month earlier, after rising in mid-July due to currency fluctuations. Prices for Vietnam’s 5-percent brokens (double water-polished) are up $4 per ton from a month earlier, a result of tighter supplies and a large volume of sales on the books.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com