Market Access & Promotion

Rice is the most popular grain globally and the primary dietary staple for more than half the world’s population.  American rice farmers grow 9 million tons of rice each year, half of which is exported to more than 120 countries. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program help the rice industry open foreign markets and promote our products abroad, and have a proven track record of success in more than 30 overseas markets.  Learn more about our international market promotions below.

International Promotions

  • Canada.Flag-Map Canada
    Canada shares the world’s longest international border with the United States and is a top market for U.S. rice.  Canada does not produce any rice. It grows wild rice, which is not a true rice, but the seed of an aquatic grass. The majority of rice on store shelves that is consumed in Canada is grown in the U.S. Essentially, U.S.-grown rice is as local as it gets for Canadians.
  • central-america-northern-tier Central America: Northern Triangle
    The Northern Triangle of Central America includes Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. As a region, Central America is the U.S. rice industry’s third largest export market valued at $163.9 million. 
  • Map of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Central America: Southern Tier
    The southern tier of Central America includes Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.  Rice is an essential part of the daily diet in these countries.  The United States exported over 220,000 MT of rice in 2017 to this region of the world.
  • China-Flag-Map China
    “Have you eaten rice yet?” is a common Chinese expression used as a way to say hello.  Per capita rice consumption in China is estimated at 221 pounds per year, nearly 10 times U.S. per capita consumption and one of the highest in the world. China is the largest importer of rice, bringing in over 5 million tons annually. The U.S. rice industry has been working for over a decade to gain access to the Chinese market and while progress has been made, we are not yet to the finish line.
  • Colombia-Flag-Map Colombia
    Rice is a staple in Colombia whose 50 million people have a high domestic consumption level of more than 1.6 million tons per year.  Traditional dishes such as Bandeja Paisa (white rice, red beans, ground beef, plantain, sausage, fried pork skin, corn patty, avocado, and a fried egg) can be found on the table year-round.
  • Cuba-Flag-Map Cuba
    Cuba is a small Caribbean island 93 miles south of Key West, Florida with a population of over 11 million.  Once the number one export market for U.S. rice, exports evaporated when the U.S. imposed an embargo against Cuba.  Given their large consumption of rice at 190 lbs per capita annually, Cuba remains a large consumer of rice and will be a top market for U.S. rice once again. 
  • Haiti-Flag-Map Haiti
    Haiti is a beautiful mountainous country that makes up the Western third of the island once known as Hispaniola, sharing a border with the Dominican Republic. Haitians prefer to eat rice on a daily basis, consuming about 115 lbs annually per capita.  
  • Map of Hong Kong with flag overlay Hong Kong
    Hong Kong produces no rice yet eats nearly 100 pounds per capita annually and thus is dependent upon imports.  Hong Kong is a truly open market (like the U.S.!) with no quantitative or qualitative restrictions and no tariffs on imported rice.    
  • Map of Japan with flag overlay Japan
    Japan is the United States’ second largest milled rice export market in terms of volume and first in terms of value.  Many rice farmers in California grow varieties such as Koshihikari, Akitakomachi or sweet rice specifically for the Japanese market though the majority of imports are Calrose.  Japan has recently subsidized super premium quality rice and rice for feed use for domestic Japanese farmers, resulting in an insufficient supply of reasonably priced rice favored by the foodservice industry.  This provides a large opportunity for imported rice, such as U.S. rice.
  • Jordan Flag Map Jordan
    Jordan is the largest single Arab market for U.S. medium grain rice exports and continues to be a growth market.  Jordan is one of the four driest countries in the world, making the country heavily reliant on food imports including rice. Rice is a staple and the average yearly consumption is estimated at 53 lbs. per capita, yet the country produces no rice.  The most popular national dish, mansaff, uses U.S. medium grain rice.
  • Mexico flag map Mexico
    Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. rice and has been for years.  In 1994 they entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and the United States.  Since then Mexico’s economy has grown exponentially.  The country currently manages a $2.4 trillion economy, which is 11th largest in the world. Mexico’s population of nearly 125 million people is a critical component of U.S. trade.
  • Map of the Middle East Middle East
    Rice is a basic staple in many Middle Eastern countries even though most of the countries do not produce rice; those that do are only able to supply a small portion of demand. Iraq, Iran, and the Arabian peninsula primarily consume long grain rice (both white rice and parboiled), while Jordan, Syria, Israel and West Bank, and Lebanon consume mostly medium grain rice.
  • Peru-Flag-Map Peru
    Peru is a beautiful Andean country of 31 million inhabitants. It is home to the Inca Trail which leads to Machu Picchu and robust Peruvian cuisines such as Tacu Tacu (pan-fried rice and beans flat cake). 
  • Saudi-Arabia-Flag-Map Saudi Arabia
    Rice is the main dish in Saudi Arabia and is usually served twice daily.  Saudi Arabia is the Middle East’s second largest importer of long grain rice; they do not produce rice and thus depend entirely on imports.  Rice is imported freely by private companies, with zero import duty and no import subsidies.
  • South-Korea-Flag-Map South Korea
    South Korea is a country of 51 million and is the second largest market for U.S. rice in Asia. Per capita consumption is estimated at 136 pounds per year but is declining.  South Korea imported 152,000 MT of U.S. rice in 2017.
  • Taiwan-Flag-Map Taiwan
    Taiwan has a population of 23.5 million and per capita rice consumption is estimated at 97.9 pounds per year. The U.S. is the largest rice supplier to Taiwan, accounting for about half of their imports.  Taiwan has in recent years imported U.S. Calrose, Southern medium grain, long grain and glutinous rice from the U.S.  
  • Turkey-Flag-Map Turkey

    Turkey grows rice; however, it is not enough to satisfy domestic demand which has been increasing over the past several years.  Recently, there has been a good deal of uncertainty in the market due to the tense political and economic situation which has led to the rapid depreciation of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies and an increase in interest rates.  

     

  • UK Flag Map United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom is the single largest market for U.S. rice sales in the European Union, mostly importing U.S. long grain rice, as well as some medium grain rice for sushi. In 2017, the UK imported 678,000 MT of rice, with India being the largest single supplier, mostly Basmati rice. The USA is the eighth largest exporter with a 4 percent market share.

Recent News

Two men holding bags of rice flank a promotion poster for
Attaboy, Tolly Boy
Mar 01, 2019
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- Westmill Foods, in association with USA Rice, won the coveted British Asian Media Awards (BAM) Community/Charity Campaign of the Year for its 2018 campaign ‘Spread the Joy with Tolly Boy.’  Westmill Foods is one of Europe’s largest specialty food companies with a diverse consumer portfolio that includes U.S. long grain rice marketed under Westmill’s Tolly Boy brand.  The company sells authentic ethnic food to Asian and Afro Caribbean restaurants as well as cash and carry, food service, and grocery stores.

“We’re delighted to win this award,” said Tolly Boy Brand Manager Steven Perry.  “An enormous amount of work went into this national campaign that included all of the main UK cities, and I’m thrilled all the hard work paid off.”

The campaign purchased U.S. rice in various formats, from 2 to 20 kilos, increasing U.S. rice sales in the UK and helping raise awareness about the use of U.S.-grown rice in ethnic cuisine.  During the three-month promotion, consumers were encouraged to share images of their dishes featuring U.S. rice on social media.

USA Rice also supported the ‘Spread the Joy’ campaign with point-of-sale items and advertising.  Through the ‘Spread the Joy with Tolly Boy’ campaign, Westmill Foods was able to provide more than £20,000 of support to 20 Bangladeshi and African community groups throughout the UK.

“I’d like to formally thank USA Rice for their participation in 2018,” said Perry.  “Without their support we could not have staged this award-winning campaign.”
For more information on USDA's export marketing programs, visit USDA's website and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) website