Countries that Make a Good Choice for Exporting U.S. Rice (and why)

January 14, 2022

Even though rice production in the United States is 2 percent less than that of the world’s rice production, the country is a major exporter of rice as it makes up 6 percent of the annual volume of global rice trade. The leading U.S. states where rice is grown at a large scale are Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, and Mississippi.

Rice is a staple grain that is consumed in heavy amounts in many countries. Sometimes, it makes sense to tap into those markets that are less popular among competitors. While, as a rice exporter in the USA, you might have already your eyes on popular rice importing countries in the USA like Mexico, Haiti, Japan, and Canada, you should also keep an eye on gaining a strong foothold in the following countries to maximize your profits.

The Philippines

Rice is widely considered a staple food throughout the Philippines. Filipinos like to eat rice so much that they would have it regardless of which type of rice it is. Restaurants and fast­-food chains across the country make sure that rice is a part of their menu. In short, Filipinos eat rice more than any other type of grain. However, rice is produced in the country in limited quantities, and that’s why the country imports rice in big quantities from other parts of the world. Therefore, the Philippines make a great choice for rice exporters.


You might be surprised to see this country on the list because China is itself the largest producer of rice in the world, followed by India. Still, it is the second-largest importer of rice after Iran. Though China had rice production of 2.8 million metric tons, it required to import around 2.3 million metric tons of rice to satiate the increasing demand of rice consumers in 2020 alone. While China primarily buys rice from Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and other Asian countries, you can expand your options if you manage to get clients in China as well.

Saudi Arabia

We all know that Saudi Arabia is a country where the majority of its parts are surrounded by desert. This makes the cultivation of rice in such a climate a challenging task. Hence, Saudi Arabia is listed among the major importers of rice. It fulfills its need for rice by importing from about 15 countries, including India, Pakistan, the USA, and Thailand. Since USA rice exporters are already popular in this desert nation, the KSA is an easier option for rice trade.


Like the KSA, Colombia is counted among the top ten destinations for rice export from the USA. Rice is loved by Colombians even in its most basic form. Rice farmers in Colombia struggle with climate change and unfair trade rules. In fact, few years back, the condition was so bad that scientists recommended Colombian farmers not to grow rice. Though conditions are improving, rice is the last cereal grown in Colombia. So, the need for exporting rice to Colombia seems genuine.

While you might hear about only a few countries’ names that import rice from the USA in huge quantities, it is worth noting that about half of the rice produced in the country is exported to over 120 countries around the world. In other words, there is no shortage of choices for rice exporters in the USA when it comes to choosing destinations for rice exporting. But before you pick any country to export rice, you should make yourself familiar with the specific requirements of the importing country.

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