ARLINGTON, VA – Earlier this week, in a move that was only mildly surprising, the Iraqi Grain Board canceled their current tender request without explanation or fanfare.
“The only thing we can predict with any accuracy in this market is the total unpredictability of this market,” said Betsy Ward, president & CEO of USA Rice.
Ward said that although the U.S. bids are very competitive, and despite regular contact between the government of Iraq, the U.S. government, and USA Rice, she thinks it could be a long time before U.S. rice is sold with any consistency in this country unless something changes dramatically.
“Frankly, we’re disheartened by the lack of progress we’re able to make with the Iraqi Grain Board,” she added. “We know our quality and logistics are better, and our prices are lower than South American origins, so one can only speculate as to why they aren’t buying U.S. rice.”
Ward will raise these concerns in what promises to be a frank meeting in Washington tomorrow with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones.
“We’re going to share with the Ambassador what we’re experiencing here, and we look forward to hearing his take on events and market realities in-country and maybe get a clearer picture of what we can expect in the near term,” Ward added.
Contact: Michael Klein