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The annual U.S. Rice Domestic Usage Report from the USA Rice Federation, which tracks shipments and consumption of U.S. milled rice from August 2007 to July 2008, found that 11.4 billion pounds of rice were shipped to U.S. market segments. This represents a 16 percent rise over the previous milling year, partly because of a higher export and crop production. American consumption of rice stayed steady with per capita consumption at 25 pounds.
U.S. imports of rice keep growing, according to the report, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture logging a record 1.7 billion pounds during the 2007-’08 milling year. The biggest growth volume in imports was from Thailand for both long-grain and Jasmine rices, reflecting a long-term trend of growing demand for aromatic varieties.
Among the report’s additional findings:
• A 37 percent increase in brown rice shipments from last year because of higher consumer demand for whole grain foods
• 61 percent of rice milled within the United States was distributed domestically, while 39 percent was exported
• 81 percent of rice eaten domestically was grown in the United States; 19 percent was imported
• 7 billion pounds of rice were shipped domestically: 56 percent went toward direct-food use and 44 percent toward pet food, processed food, beer and sake
• The largest market segments for rice shipments for direct-food use included retail stores, at 28 percent
The full report is available on the USA Rice Web site, www.usarice.com, within the “Newsroom” section, under the “Reports & Publications” tab.
Based in Arlington, Va., the USA Rice Federation advocates for all segments of the U.S. rice industry, conducting programs to build awareness and usage of U.S.-grown rice.