ARLINGTON, VA -- Last month, Honduras approved the phytosanitary protocol to allow milled rice imports from Paraguay. They are the first country in the northern tier of Central America to permit Paraguayan milled rice.
Over the past five years, Paraguay has nearly doubled their rice production to 780,000 MT and their exports have nearly tripled during that same timeframe. Last year, Paraguay exported about 400,000 MT of rice, with the overwhelming majority destined for Brazil. More than 90 percent of Paraguay's exports typically have gone to South America but as they have increased production, they are looking for additional markets. Paraguay is currently in discussions with El Salvador and Mexico to open up those markets as well.
Paraguay is known for having a good quality crop, similar to Uruguayan, at competitive pricing. Colombia's tender for an additional 200,000 MT (see USA Rice Daily, February 9, 2016) has been allocated and while sources indicate the lion's share will be coming from Uruguay, Paraguay did capture some of this business.
"U.S. rice has a very strong food safety image, favorable logistics for the Western Hemisphere, and a solid preference by customers that have consumed U.S. rice for years, but as more players come onto the export market scene, it's extremely important that U.S. rice protect that high quality image and those markets," said Carl Brothers, chairman of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.