USA Rice Group Receives Up-Beat Report on Demand in Japan; Conducts 20th Annual Rice Technical Meeting

Demanding U.S. rice
Aug 24, 2017
TOYKO, JAPAN -- Demand for U.S. rice is benefiting from supply and demand developments in Japan according to a report by Yumi Kojima, director of the USA Rice Japan office.  

"There is a serious shortage of reasonably priced rice for Japan's food service sector and this means more demand for U.S. Calrose rice," said Kojima.  "The foodservice and deli/take-out food market is approximately 3.2 million metric tons and has been squeezed by Japan's rice policy which supports production of rice for feed use and seeks to restrict an oversupply of table rice."

Kojima made her report to the USA Rice delegation attending the 20th annual U.S.-Japan rice technical meeting which occurred here yesterday.  

"This year's meeting is a milestone in our relationship with Japan's rice trading companies and the Ministry of Agriculture,” said Alex T. Balafoutis with PGP International, Inc., chairman of USA Rice Millers’ Association, and leader of the U.S. delegation.  “We exchanged information on rice production in each country and discussed the U.S. rice export situation, and we continue to make progress in resolving technical issues and to strengthen U.S.-Japan bilateral rice trade."  

The delegation also met with USDA's Office of Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy.

Japan is a medium and short grain market and U.S. exporters shipped 334,400 MT of rice during the Japan fiscal year that ended in March 2017.  These sales accounted for 49 percent of Japan's rice imports.

Joining Balafoutis on the delegation are Todd Burich, ADM Rice; Chris Crutchfield, American Commodity Company; Bob Cummings, USA Rice; Steven Michel and Rick Rhody, Farmers' Rice Cooperative; Michael Rue, California producer; and Steve Vargas, Sun Valley Rice.