by Don Molino
During the recent USA Rice Outlook Conference in Memphis, Hugh McGuinnes, Vice-President of International for USA Rice, told Don Molino a lot of people in overseas countries do not realize rice is actually produced in the United States.
“When I tour other countries, people seem to think rice is grown in Asia and other such countries,” says McGuinnes, “But when they find out the US is a huge producer of rice, they’re very surprised. And not only is that, but the fact we export about 50% of what’s produced in the United States is also really interesting to people that I talk with.”
The largest market currently for US rice is Mexico. But McGuinnes explains there are other large markets for US rice in Latin America and Central America. “For example, Haiti and Venezuela. We also have a growing market in Columbia as well,” he said.
“But we also have markets in Asia,” said McGuinnes, “Japan, for example, is a very important market as well as Korea and Hong Kong. In addition, we’re very optimistic about China opening up eventually when we can reach a phytosanitary agreement. And we’re hopeful that will take place soon.”