USDA Data Points to Positive Signs for U.S. Rice Industry

Yellow smiling circle in midst of crowd of blue frowning circles
Things are looking up
Oct 30, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC -- On October 25, the World Market Price Subcommittee’s autumn meetings were held here and more than 20 USA Rice members from all sectors of the U.S. rice industry converged to discuss yields, stocks, and global rice trade issues.  Also in attendance were staff from the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Economic Research Service (ERS), and Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Committee members discussed the NASS planting and yield numbers, and came to a general consensus that the figures were accurate.  Overall plantings increased, and domestic use reached a record high, which contributed to a slight decrease in stocks-to-use.  These figures offered an encouraging outlook for the 2018 rice crop.

FAS staff presented an overview of global trade in the rice industry reporting that global production and consumption are both up, and U.S. exports are expected to see a bounce back in FY 2019 after a decrease the previous year.

“The recent conclusion of the US-Mexico-Canada agreement – the new NAFTA – finally brings stability to an important market for U.S. rice exports,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.  “The industry is also looking forward to the beginning of negotiations on trade agreements early next year with Japan and the EU, and subsequently with the UK.”

World Market Price Subcommittee Chairman Keith Glover said, “Recent announcements of sales of U.S. rice to Iraq and a tender by Egypt for milled rice are welcome signs of demand in the Middle East, and are positive signs for the industry as we begin to market in earnest the 2018 crop.”