The US share of world rice production may be tiny at less than 2%, but the country plays an outsize role as an exporter, accounting for more than 10% of global rice trade. Indeed, exports are hugely important to US rice growers, accounting for nearly half of production in the marketing year ending July 31, 2014.
American Shipper reports that more US exported rice is being packaged and shipped breakbulk or in containers, rather than in bulk as in the past. Datamyne trade data documents the growth in containerized exports – from 5,944 TEUs in 2011 to 30,214 TEUs in 2013 – as well as the top ports handling containerized rice.
The American Shipper story explores the several reasons for this US export success story – from Asian taste for California rice to hard-nosed trade negotiations.