U.S. rice producers are expected to produce a record crop of 244 million hundredweight in 2010, based on the largest estimated acreage since 1999 and a projected near-record average rice yield of 7,202 pounds per acre, according to USDA’s May 11 Crop Production Report and World Supply and Demand Estimate.

If USDA projections hold true, the crop would be 11 percent larger than the 2009-10 crop and 5 percent above the previous record in 2004-05.

While world demand for rice remains very strong, production in other exporting countries is expected to be large as well, meaning export competition will be greater, USDA says.

U.S. 2010-11 rice use is projected at a record 245 million hundredweight, 2 percent above the year earlier.

U.S. domestic and residual use is projected at a record 138 million hundredweight, 2 percent above 2009-10.

Exports are projected at 107 million hundredweight.

U.S. ending stocks in 2010-11 are projected at 51.4 million hundredweight, 69 percent above the previous year, and the largest stocks since 1985-86.

In March, USDA pegged rice planted area at 3.41 million acres, up 9 percent from 2009. Harvested area is estimated at 3.39 million acres.

Imports for 2009-10 are projected at 22 million hundredweight, up 5 percent from the previous year.

The 2010-11 long-grain season-average farm price is projected at $10 to $11 per hundredweight compared to a revised $12.90 to $13.10 for the previous year. The combined medium- and short-grain price is projected at $14.50 to $15.50 per hundredweight, compared to $17.65 to $17.85 for the year earlier. The 2010-11 all rice price is projected at $11.15 to $12.15 per hundredweight, compared to $14.05 to $14.25 per hundredweight for 2009-10.

According to USDA, large domestic and global supplies and lower Asian prices will pressure U.S. prices this year. Global 2010-11 rice production is projected at a record 459.7 million tons, up 17.6 million or 4 percent from 2009-10. Large crops are projected for most of Asia including record or near-record crops in Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In bullish news, world consumption and residual is projected at a record 453.4 million tons, up 10.9 million or 2 percent.

Global rice exports in 2010-11 are projected at 31.4 million tons, up 1.75 million tons or 6 percent from the previous year, and the largest since 2007-08. Exports are expected to increase from the previous year in the United States, Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Global ending stocks are expected to increase 6.3 million tons or 7 percent to 96.6 million tons — the largest stocks since 2002-03. The stocks-to-use ratio for 2010-11 at 21.3 percent, is up from last year’s 20.4 percent, and the highest since 2003-04.

USDA also reported that the source of the average milling yield used in the conversion of milled to rough rice in USDA reports has changed for the 2000-01 through 2010-11 marketing years. The average milling yield used, expressed as a percent, from the Farm Service Agency, is calculated from warehouse stored loan data for the different rice classes.

Previously, data supplied from the USA Rice Federation were used to calculate the average milling yield, data which are no longer available. The 2010-11 average milling yield at 68.86 percent is based on the average of the previous 5 years.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com