Due to World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, Japan is required to import 682,000 MT of rice. The U.S. typically garners a little less than 50% of this amount with Calrose as the dominant variety. With the passing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP), there is added competition from Australia, which has recently entered the market with two short grain varieties that they have been promoting aggressively.
USA Rice Activities
About 30% of rice consumption is done outside the home so USA Rice focuses activities on foodservice and deli/take-out. Menu presentations to foodservice entities provide them with menu ideas to take advantage of the characteristics of U.S. rice that differ from domestic rice. USA Rice conducts tie-in promotion campaigns with hotels and restaurants providing promotional materials in the venue as well as web and social media promoting the menu item containing U.S. rice. This year we are focusing more on “new style” as well as traditional sushi, which is the highest valued end use for rice, to build on recent SBS successes.