Rice Exports Shine Amid Tough Market Situation

Despite the tough market situation faced by U.S. rice farmers this year, exports of U.S. rice remain a bright spot for the rice industry as a whole. During the first 5 months of CY2017, total U.S. rice exports (converted basis) were 23 percent ahead of exports during the same period of 2016 in volume and 10 percent ahead in value.

Lower prices are making U.S. rice more competitive overseas, and USA Rice international marketing and promotional initiatives are capitalizing on this price downturn to maintain and grow sales in what has been a very competitive world marketplace.

“Competitive prices are motivating our overseas customers to take a fresh look at U.S. rice,” said Hugh Maginnis, USA Rice Vice President International. “The export promotion activities we implement in coordination with our FAS partners have helped boost consumption and imports of U.S. grown rice in just about every international market we service.”

Examples of strong export performance for U.S. rice in CY2017 can be found almost everywhere.

In Mexico, the number one market in both volume and value, where USA Rice conducts more than 300 marketing activities annually, exports are up by about 20 percent in volume and three percent in value over the previous year. In Haiti, exports of U.S rice are up 26 percent in volume and 11 percent in value, bolstered by targeted USA Rice TV and radio advertising and promotions.

Exports to the UK market have grown 49 percent in volume and 19 percent in value so far thanks in part to targeted billboard advertising, trade magazine testimonials, and growing sales online and with independent retail outlets.

Exports of long grain parboiled and medium grain rice to Saudi Arabia are booming, up 46 percent in value and 48 percent in value, due to aggressive billboard advertising outdoors and in the shopping malls. Jordan is a market with even better performance, with U.S. medium grain sales up 79 percent in volume and 65 percent in value.

U.S. exports of medium grain to Japan have taken a record 77 percent share of the SBS quota, as targeted foodservice promotions educate consumers about the versatility and taste of U.S. medium grain.

“These trends point to a strong export performance for the remainder of the year” said Maginnis. “While this optimistic scenario can change due to a number of factors, the momentum in the export market is in our favor. More U.S.-grown rice is heading to the tables of our overseas customers, providing fresh opportunities for a diverse global consumer market to experience the quality, consistency, and value of USA Rice.”

Source: Deborah Willenborg, AgFax

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