Abraham Helps Finalize Huge Rice Purchase From Iraq

By Michael Klein, USA Rice 

Six months after the first U.S. rice purchase by Iraq under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries, Iraq has awarded a new 90,000 metric ton order for long grain milled rice to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

As with other successful tenders, it came down to the last minute and even the Iraqi Minister of Planning got involved in final deliberations.  The Minister and a delegation had visited the U.S. this summer to get a better understanding of the U.S. rice industry and to make sure U.S. industry understood his agency's needs and standards.

"We greatly appreciate Minister Salman al-Jumaili taking such an active role in the tender," said USA Rice vice president international Sarah Moran.  "It's a testament to the transparent process we hoped to achieve with the MOU.  Ambassador Silliman and staff at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad should also be commended for their work on behalf of U.S. agriculture."

"This will make 120,000 metric tons of U.S. rice going into Iraq since the MOU was signed in 2016," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward, who's group helped draft the MOU.  "This sale comes at an excellent time and will give the entire industry a welcome boost as we head into the holiday season."

Ward also thanked allies in Congress who have helped keep U.S. rice front and center with the U.S. State Department and the government of Iraq, specifically Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-LA) who reached out directly to Ambassador Silliman during this latest tender process.