September 11, 2023 | Industry News
September 2023 Regional Market Report News
El Niño conditions are forecasted to bring drought to Southeast Asia in the fall, impacting the harvest of jasmine rice. In addition to unfavorable weather, the Indian government has placed a ban on the export of non-basmati white rice, while additional limitations on Ukrainian grain exports are also gaining momentum. All of these factors are causing some speculation about the potential rise in market prices of jasmine rice out of Thailand. Roland Foods is working to protect supply and proactively manage costs to deliver maximum value to our customers if the 2023/2024 harvest is below average.
Global Supply Chain and Logistics Updates
Containerized Imports Reach Their Peak
Containerized imports approached the highest levels reported in 2023 during the month of August. Despite record high levels, ports have been able to manage this influx of volume with no prolonged congestion. As we progress through September and the early fall months, we anticipate seeing a gradual decline in import levels.
Over the past several weeks, vital progress has been made to resolve potential labor disputes that would have strained the supply chain. Port workers on the west coast of the U.S. and Canada have ratified an updated labor contract, ensuring cargo will continue to flow into the country. In addition, UPS teamsters who threatened to strike and paralyze the parcel and LTL network passed a tentative contract. With these labor disruptions largely averted, retailers have a more optimistic outlook with the holiday season on the horizon.
An Update on the Panama Canal
To maintain control over vessel congestion during this period of water preservation, the Panama Canal Authority is temporarily passing additional restrictions on daily vessel crossings. As it stands, restrictions have been placed on the Panamax locks, which are primarily used by bulk cargo vessels and chemical tankers. The NeoPanamax locks, which most container ships pass through, are currently not affected by the restriction. However, it is possible that further restrictions will be passed impacting the NeoPanamax locks, which will ultimately increase transit times and the cost of cargo. At Roland Foods, we have contingent plans to ensure the steady movement of our products from all source origins.