USA Rice Hosts Trade Seminar for Japanese Importers, Wholesalers, and End Users

Japan Trade Seminar, Peter Bachmann holds microphone, gives presentation, standing next to US flag and screen
USA Rice CEO Peter Bachmann delivers trade update for audience in Japan
Apr 17, 2024
TOKYO, JAPAN – Earlier this week, USA Rice, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Japan hosted a trade seminar here for importers, wholesalers, and end users of U.S. rice.  The more than 40 participants who gathered at the residence of the Deputy Chief of Mission included representatives from USDA and a delegation of U.S. rice exporters.  

Presentations and remarks were provided by the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Raymond Greene, USA Rice President & CEO Peter Bachmann, USA Rice Japan’s Yumi Kojima, Minister Counselor for Agriculture Morgan Perkins, and Tommy Aoki from the Agricultural Trade Office in the Embassy.

The event was conducted to celebrate the significant return of U.S. rice to the market in Japan after the prolonged California drought limited export sales in 2022 and the first half of 2023.

“The buyers and users were excited to hear about the 2024 crop year projections for U.S. medium grain along with highlights of the 2023 and 2024 promotions underway in the market through USA Rice Japan,” said Chris Crutchfield, California rice miller and chair of the USA Rice Asia, Turkey Promotion Subcommittee.  “We have worked hard to identify niche opportunities for our rice in the marketplace, and the crowd at our seminar reiterated that there is still strong demand for consistent, high-quality U.S. rice.”

In 2023/24 purchases, more than 33,000 metric tons of U.S. whole kernel table rice was sold to Japanese private buyers after less than 1,200 metric tons were sold in the year prior.

U.S. medium grain is a strong option in the Japanese marketplace as it has unique characteristics compared to Japanese short grain varieties, making it more suitable for certain applications, such as salads, rice bowls, soups, rice pudding, and in the Nakashoku (ready-made-meals) sector.

In addition to the trade seminar, the USA Rice delegation separately met with USDA FAS staff and Japanese rice importers, and held business to business meetings to discuss the 2024 crop outlook, domestic supply and demand, and other issues.

Japan is the largest market for U.S. medium grain and consistently in the top three for total U.S. rice exports by both volume and value.