(Source: https://gain.fas.usda.gov)

The USDA Post forecasts China's MY 2019-20 (July 2019 - June 2020) milled rice production at 146 mil. tons, unchanged from the USDA's official estimate.

China finished harvesting the Early Double-Crop and is expected to continue with the Single-Crop and Late Double-Crop until early December.

While japonica rice is not double-cropped (planting two crops annually – Double-Crop Early and Late), indica can be double-cropped. The Post forecasts China's 2019-20 japonica rice production at about one-third of China's total rice production and planted area down from the previous year. The Post reports that farmers are preferring single-crop indica instead of double-cropping indica as it is intended for processing purposes (e.g. rice noodles) instead of for table purposes or eaten as a cooked grain. Relative to Early-Crop, Late Indica is popular as table rice in China’s southern provinces.

Rice cropping patterns in China:

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has set the 2019 Minimum Support Price (MSP) at 2,400 (Early Indica), 2,520 (Late Indica), and 2,600 (Japonica) yuan per ton for the 2019-20 rice crops ($338, $355, and $366 per ton respectively).

The Post forecasts China's MY 2019-20 rice consumption and residual at 143 million tons, unchanged from the USDA's official estimate.

The Post forecasts China's MY 2019-20 rice imports at 3.3 million tons. The Post expects imports to fall due to less demand for foreign supplies amid ongoing auctions of reserves. Auction prices have been attractive to domestic buyers and the percentage sold (of the quantity offered) has been robust, according to the Post.

The Post forecasts China's MY 2019-20 rice exports at 3.3 million tons, unchanged from the USDA's official estimate, and up from an estimated 2.77 million tons in MY 2018-19. China is likely to be a net exporter for the first time in nine years, buoyed by competitive export prices and growing market opportunities in Latin America and Africa.

Domestic rice prices are lower relative to last year despite forecasts for a lower crop. Government’s auctioning of domestic rice reserves also kept prices relatively low, according to the Post.

The Post forecasts China's MY 2019-20 rice ending stocks at 118 million tons, slightly above the USDA's official estimate of 117.8 million tons, and up from an estimated 115 million tons from MY 2018-19. China’s auction of old-crop rice reserves in 2019 has been reportedly attractive for domestic buyers. Since January 2019, China auctioned nearly 12 million tons of rice from its state-owned inventories.