U.S. rice production is projected at 224 million hundredweight, 10 percent above 2008-09.

In its May 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, USDA projects U.S. planted rice area in 2009 at 3.18 million acres, up 6 percent from 2008. Harvested area is estimated at 3.16 million acres. Average rice yield is projected at 7,082 pounds per acre, up 3 percent from the previous year, but down 2 percent from the 2007-08 record.

Imports for 2009-10 are projected at 21 million hundredweight, up nearly 17 percent from the previous year.

Exports are projected at 97 million hundredweight. Competition for export markets will be keen as competitor supplies are expected to be large.

The all rice season-average price for 2009-10 is forecast at $10.50 to $11.50 per hundredweight compared to $15.75 to $16.25 for 2008-09. The long-grain price is projected at $9.50 to $10.50 per hundredweight compared to $14.60 to $15.10 for the previous year. The combined medium- and short-grain price is projected at $15.50 to $16.50 per hundredweight, compared to $20.90 to $21.40.

Large domestic and global supplies and lower international prices will pressure U.S. prices, according to USDA.

Global 2009-10 rice production is projected at a record 448.1 million tons, up 4.5 million from the previous year. World consumption is projected at a record 443.2 million tons, up 8.7 million tons.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com