Rice Exports from the USA

November 8, 2021

Rice Exports from the USA

Despite producing less than 2% of the world's rice, the United States is a major exporter, accounting for around 6% of the yearly volume of global rice trade. In both the long-grain and combined medium-and-short-grain global markets, the United States is considered a steady, dependable, and timely producer of high-quality rice. Exports are vital to the rice sector in the United States since the worldwide market accounts for around half of its yearly sales volume.

Rice imports into the United States have increased over the last two decades, from around 10% of the domestic market at the turn of the century to around 25% by 2019/20 (August-July). Most rice imported into the United States is aromatic Asian rice, such as jasmine from Thailand and basmati from India and Pakistan. China has recently resumed its traditional medium and short-grain rice supplier to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

Rice Exports from the USA

Rough or unmilled rice, parboiled rice, brown rice, and fully milled rice are exported from the United States. Rough rice now accounts for roughly one-third of U.S. rice exports (on a rough-rice basis), with Latin America as the principal market. The United States is the only major exporter that permits the export of rough rice. The other significant exporters (India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and China) limit rough-rice shipments to preserve their domestic milling businesses.

The Middle East (including Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia as the top buyers) is the second-largest rice import market. The United States' market share in this region continues to decline, mainly owing to fierce competition from Asian suppliers, particularly Thailand and India, and exports from South American exporters.

The E.U. mainly imports long-grain brown rice from the United States, which it fully mills before shipping to regional markets. Northeast Asia is primarily a market for medium-and short-grain milled and brown rice for the United States.

In both the milled and rough rice markets in Latin America, the United States faces rising competition from South American exporters. The United States sells virtually little rice to South Asia or Southeast Asia, as lower-cost Asian exporters supply these markets. India and Thailand continue to be the world's leading rice exporters, followed by Vietnam, Pakistan, and China. These six countries, including the United States, account for more than four-fifths of annual rice exports.

Imports of Rice into the United States

Rice imports into the United States have surged in recent decades, owing primarily to the rising demand for aromatic varieties, fueled in part by the growing population of rice-consuming ethnic groups. Aromatics are supplied from Thailand, India, Pakistan, and Vietnam, particularly jasmine and basmati rice.

Plant breeders in the United States have yet to generate aromatic rice cultivars with the same qualities as these Asian types. Aromatic rice imports are projected to rise further until U.S. breeders develop varieties that meet this segment of domestic demand since the year 2018.

Rice Production in the U.S.

Arkansas Grand Prairie; Mississippi Delta (parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana); Gulf Coast (Texas and Southwest Louisiana); and, Sacramento Valley of California produce nearly all the United States' rice harvest.

Each of these places often specializes in a specific type of rice, referred to in the United States by grain length—long, medium, and short. Long-grain kinds in the United States often cook dry and separate, but medium- and short-grain varieties in the United States typically cook moist and clinging or sticky.

Long-grain rice production accounts for around 75% of total U.S. rice production, medium-grain rice production accounts for approximately 24%, and short-grain rice production accounts for the remainder. The United States produced 227.6 million hundred weight (cwt) of rough rice in 2020, up 23 percent from the previous year but still well short of the record 243.1 million cwt harvested in 2010.

The production of long-grain rice in the United States is concentrated in the South (Arkansas grows approximately 57-58 percent of the U.S. long-grain crop.) California is the leading producer of medium-grain rice, accounting for 70-75 percent of the crop. However, Arkansas also grows a significant amount of medium-grain rice, particularly during drought years in California. Louisiana typically harvests far fewer pounds of medium-grain rice. California is nearly entirely responsible for producing short-grain rice. All rice grown in the United States is grown on irrigated fields, resulting in some of the best yields in the world. In the United States, producers can seed aerially in flooded fields or drill or broadcast seed onto dry fields.

Marketing years differ by state, with Texas and Louisiana starting on July 1, Arkansas and Mississippi onAugust 1, Missouri on September 1, and California on October 1. Some producers in Texas and southwest Louisiana can re-flood their fields after harvest, resulting in a partial second crop or "ratoon" crop from the stubble left in the field after the first crop is harvested.

How can Royale Global help?

Rice is an essential grain worldwide, and its numerous industrial applications make it a significant food export. With over 3 million metric tons of rice exported each year, the United States provides a considerable market for rice imports. Furthermore, premium USA-grown rice opens up a plethora of potential for businesses like yours to create a plethora of rice-based products that cater to your local markets.

Royale Global assists you in capitalizing on these changes. Our network of high-quality, high-volume rice growers in the United States is ready to bargain. On every order, we manage the negotiations, customs, and delivery. It's part of our promise to you to provide the most satisfactory food import experience possible.

Royale Global is a U.S. exporting corporation dedicated to providing high-quality products. As a result of that commitment, we only negotiate for premium agricultural exports grown in the United States. We connect, negotiate, ship, and forward agricultural exports from the United States so that you can outperform your competition in your local markets anywhere in the globe.

Partnership - Your success is always our top goal, and we always do our best.

Commitment - We are dedicated to supplying only the highest quality products made in the United States.

Passion - We are passionate about our commitment to you and providing the quality you require to establish success.

Get in touch...
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Ready to Export/Import?

If you're a US company looking to export, or a non-US company that wants to import US products, we can help. Send us a message and we'll be in touch shortly.