World Market Price Subcommittee Talks Acreage, Iraq, and Cuba

USA Rice's Betsy Ward (l.) and Sarah Moran literally talk Turkey with The Rice Trading Company CEO Jay Kapila.
May 13, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC -- The World Market Price Subcommittee met here this morning with representatives from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).  

Members noted that rice acres in California may be below those indicated in the NASS Prospective Plantings report issued this spring. 

Members also reviewed NASS rice price reporting questionnaires. NASS reiterated that it is looking only for reported transactions of rough rice at the point of first sale, excluding transportation and other charges from farmers’ bins to the point of sale.  However, NASS does not adjust data received on rough rice purchases.  Subcommittee members agreed that this explanation provided more clarity about the reporting of rough rice transactions at the first point of sale.

Discussions with representatives of FAS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) focused on trade with Cuba and Turkey, and the U.S. rice industry’s ongoing difficulty with the lack of transparency and predictability in Iraq’s rice tender process.  

“We’ve started the process of looking for an Iraqi contractor to assist our efforts on the ground in Baghdad,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  “This is a recommendation that we received during our meeting last week in Washington with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Stuart Jones, and we believe it has merit and worth pursuing.  We need to look at all options that can help us return Iraq as a steady customer for U.S. rice.”

Chairman Keith Glover said, “This was a very positive meeting, with a lot of productive conversation.  And, as always, we appreciate USDA’s participation.”

The next World Market Price Subcommittee meeting will be in October. 

Contact:  Kristen Dayton (703) 236-1464