The US Rice Producers Association has reported that both total and per capita US rice consumption is continuing to rise with imports accounting for a growing share of domestic consumption.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) imports are projected to continue increasing at a slightly faster pace than overall consumption.
The consumption of rice has been on an increase in the United States since the late 1970s and for 2002/03 the per capita consumption is projected by the USDA to reach a record 26.3 pounds. That is an increase of a quarter of a pound from the previous year and doubles the 1978/79 level. The USDA’s long term forecast projects continued expansion over the next decade.
The US Rice Producers Association has warned that for American rice farmers the importation of rice from the foreign market place is of serious concern. As indicated by the USDA, imports in 2001/02 represented 11% of the domestic use, compared with less than 1% in 1980/81. These imports are projected to continue increasing at a pace faster than overall consumption.