USDA Meeting Focuses on Trade and Data Accuracy

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Oct 23, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC -- The USA Rice World Market Price Subcommittee (WMP) held its fall meeting via Zoom yesterday, the second virtual gathering of the subcommittee in the COVID-19 era.  Following the same successful format as the May meeting, the full WMP subcommittee met first to discuss supply and demand, rice stocks, and field yield estimates.  Most members agreed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected figures were accurate, with some adjustments suggested for Missouri and Texas.  USA Rice staff also provided a trade update covering relevant markets such as Kenya, Iraq, and the U.K.

Following the subcommittee meeting, Chair Keith Glover and USA Rice staff met with teams from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Economic Research Service (ERS), and World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) departments.  

Glover provided feedback from subcommittee members regarding NASS statistics, and reviewed the areas where members thought changes could be made.  During this meeting, NASS announced their fall Data Users Virtual Meeting, which will be an opportunity to update data users on recent and pending changes in the various statistical and information programs important to agriculture, and to seek comments and input on these programs.  These programs are critical to both the USDA and the rice industry to gather a complete picture of the state of the industry throughout the year.

To round out the day, FAS reviewed current and potential markets including Japan, Korea, Iraq, and Nigeria, and provided updates on ongoing trade negotiations with the UK and Kenya.  FAS staff also reviewed the global rice situation that is expected to see a rebound in global production, higher consumption, increased trade, and slightly higher stocks.

“These meetings with USDA are always beneficial for both sides as the rice industry provides feedback to government officials as to what they are seeing in their states, and the USDA updates USA Rice on statistical and trade developments,” said Glover.  “The U.S. industry is grateful to be able to discuss our concerns with USDA and we look forward to continuing these meetings well into the future.”