Global Market Prospects for U.S. Long-grain Rice for the Upcoming Marketing Year

The global rice market has seen a fair share of volatility in the current marketing year, which started off with India’s export ban on white non-basmati rice on July 2023 (see While India is bypassing the export ban with government-to-government sales, still the impact of that measure has been felt globally through higher export prices and export activity out of other major rice exporters such as Thailand and Vietnam. Export prices for long-grain non-aromatic rice out of Asia have for the most part remained above $600/metric ton (mt) since then (USDA, 2024a; FAO, 2024). 

Export prices for U.S. long-grain rice have remained stable since August at around $760-765/mt (USDA, 2024a), which reduced the gap between U.S. and Asian rice prices significantly. For example, in marketing year 2022/23 the average U.S. export price for long grain milled rice #2/4% was $743/mt relative to $481/mt for Thailand 100% B and $460/mt for Vietnam 5%, that is, a 55% and 61% price premium for U.S. rice relative to Thai and Vietnamese rice, respectively. In the first seven months (August-February) of the current 2023/24 marketing year the U.S. rice price premium has decreased to 20% and 18% relative to Thai and Vietnamese rice, respectively. Arguably more importantly, U.S. export prices so far in 2023/24 have been much more competitive vis-à-vis Mercosur rice (average quotes of $819/mt and $792/mt for Brazilian and Uruguayan long-grain 5% rice, respectively (FAO, 2024)), in part due to the large 2023 U.S. crop (153.9 million hundredweight (cwt) according to the March 2024 WASDE Report (USDA, 2024b)) and short 2023 Mercosur rice crop (303 million cwt or 8% below the average of the previous 3 years).  

The increased price competitiveness of U.S. long-grain rice so far in 2023/24 can explain the extraordinary performance of exports so far. The volume of long-grain rice exports negotiated in the first seven months of the 2023/24 marketing year (53.7 million cwt rough basis) increased 82% relative to the same period in 2022/23, driven primarily by paddy rice exports (175% increase) and milled rice (33% increase). Exports to Mexico increased from 1.76 million cwt in August-February of 2022/23 to 11.2 million cwt in the same period in 2023/24, largely at the expense of Brazilian paddy rice. On the milled rice segment, Haiti and Iraq remain the largest destinations with 38% and 26% of long grain milled rice exports, respectively. 

Figure 1. Exports of U.S. long-grain rice to selected core markets in the first seven months of the last eight marketing years (rice marketing year: August-July).

Overall, USDA’s supply and use projections for 2023/24 point to a 14% increase in supply (driven by increases in both production and imports), a 17% increase in use (driven by increases in domestic use and exports), leading to a 6% reduction in ending stocks (USDA, 2024b).

With the 2023/24 performance as reference, what can we expect for the upcoming marketing year? USDA’s March 2024 prospective plantings (USDA, 2024c) suggest a 12.2% increase in long grain area relative to last year (2.3 relative to 2.05 million acres in 2023), with most of the increase expected in Arkansas. At 2023 average yields, the increase in area will amount to a 16 million cwt increase in production reaching 170 million cwt in 2024, which will put pressure on exports to clear the market. At the same time, rice harvest in Mercosur is coming to an end and production is projected to increase by 9% to 329 million cwt, mainly in Brazil, which will potentially put pressure on U.S. exports in core markets in Mexico and Central America. Finally, it is important to acknowledge the risky nature of U.S. milled rice exports. First, the delicate social, political, and economic situation in Haiti makes that trade highly risky. Second, trade with Iraq has been highly political in nature, which also leaves the industry at the mercy of forces beyond their control. In summary, the expected size of the 2024 U.S. crop (as inferred from March 2024 prospective plantings), the large Mercosur crop, and the risks in key export outlets can be seen as warnings for the upcoming U.S. long-grain season. Moreover, if India decides to end the export ban (still unknown), then further downward price pressure may be expected.       


USDA, 2024a. Rice Outlook. February 2024. Available at

 USDA 2024b. USDA WASDE Report. March 2024. Available at

USDA 2024c. USDA Prospective Plantings. March 2024. Available at

FAO, 2024. Rice Price Update. March 2024. Available at

Durand-Morat, Alvaro . “Global Market Prospects for U.S. Long-grain Rice for the Upcoming Marketing Year.” Southern Ag Today 4(14.4). April 4, 2024. Permalink