Rice Market in the United States–Rice Production, Consumption, and Export

Rice is a grain that is cultivated all over the world and provides nourishment for over half of its population. It is a safe, nutritious, and abundant product.
Timeline of rice industry development in America:

During the 17th century
Rice was first cultivated in the United States in South Carolina.
At 1700
Rice became a major crop for the colonists.
Over the next 150 years
Rice production gradually moved westward.
In the 1870s
Although rice production is not high, the rice industry still accounts for a large proportion of all the industries.
After the American Civil War
Rice industry of the United States grew rapidly
In 1880
Rice production in the U.S. value reached 30 million bounds.
In 1885
Rice production value reached 100 million bounds.

With centuries’ development, the U.S. rice industry is recognized as an innovative, technologically advanced, conservation-friendly, and dependable supplier of high-quality rice to feed people at home and around the world.

U.S rice production

◆ Rice production

According to the report, America’s rice production reached 199 million cwt in 2012. In 2013, the harvested area also rose from 2.68 million hectares to 2.7 million hectares. In 2014 and 2015, rice production reached 222 million cwt and 193 million cwt respectively. In 2016, the production value reached 2.38 billion dollars. In 2017, China firstly open the rice market for US exports for the first time. We can find that the export volume of American rice is increasing continuously.
More than 100 varieties of rice are commercially produced primarily in six states (Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and California) in the U.S. Arkansas, the nation’s top rice producer, topped rice farm output value with $1.9 billion, followed by California ($1.8 billion); Louisiana ($640 million); Texas ($400 million); Mississippi ($350 million, in recent years rice production has risen in North America, especially in the Mississippi River Delta areas); and Missouri ($300 million).
Three major types of rice in America are long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain rice. About 72 percent of U.S. rice production is a long-grain (U.S. rice production has grown steadily over time due to increases in long-grain rice acreage and yield increases.). Medium-grain varieties account for 26 percent of U.S. rice production, while short-grain varieties account for nearly 2 percent of U.S. rice production. The U.S. is known for exporting long grain rice, but it also cultivates the other rice types.

◆ Rice consumption

Rice consumption in the United States is much lower than in Asian countries but is increasing rapidly. Reasons for the increase include changes in the growing Asian-American and Hispanic-American populations, and eating habits and the use of rice by the processed foods industry (new rice-based food products). The majority of domestic utilization of U.S. rice is direct food use (58%), while 16% is used in each of processed foods and beer. The remaining 10% is found in pet food.

rice consumption in the U.S.

rice consumption in the U.S. from 2008/2009 to 2017/2018
In America, long-grain rice is mainly used in processed food such as packaged mixes as a main dish or side. Medium-grain rice is used in breakfast cereals, desserts, casseroles, and other processed food. Short-grain rice is ideal for pudding and other desserts. Rice is increasingly processed foods, which account for around 13 percent of domestic use.
Rice is also used for manufacturing beer. To complete large production, one brewery must have a completed rice mill production line to process materials. Taking 100T/D Automatic Rice Mill Production Line, for example, can process about 100 tons of rice per day. It greatly improves the demand for materials. Although the use of rice in beer production has become less, it pushed the development of the rice industry.
Moreover, rice is often processed into products including rice flour and vegetable oil. We can find that rice can be used in various fields. Rice processing machine has a wide market prospect in the future.

◆ Rice export

The United States is an export-oriented country. Although not among the world’s 5 largest rice-producing countries, the U.S. is the fifth largest world rice exporter. Half of America’s rice is exported to about 100 countries in the world. The United States exports rough rice, parboiled rice, brown rice, and fully milled rice. Milled rice, including brown rice, accounts for the bulk of U.S. rice exports. From 2007 to 2015, the U.S. was a net exporter of semi-or wholly milled rice. The main destinations of U.S. milled rice exports were Japan, Haiti, Canada, and Colombia. Rice export in the United States in 2016: $1.9 billion (10.4% of all rice exports in 2016).

Top 10 U.S. Rice export markets

Development of Rice Milling Technology in the History of America

At first, the rice was milled by hand with wooden paddles. In the past, rice “farms” or plantations of only a few hundred acres required from 100 to 300 laborers to prepare the soil, plant, harvest and thresh their production—all by hand. High labor costs kept the rice industry from expanding in the United States. Not until mechanized farming methods came into use would the U.S. rice industry become flourishing.
With the development of the rice industry, rice quality is also promoting. Technological improvements have evolved over the years to make American rice production the most efficient and advanced in the world. Today, the United States is the world’s most advanced, innovative rice producers. One of the largest exporters of rice in the world, the United States is respected worldwide for its abundant production of high-quality rice.
Besides, the invention of rice mill machine increases the profitability of the crop. Rice products are processed by the latest milling, sorting, cleaning technology, and machine with the highest quality assurance and sanitation standards, which stimulates the requirements of rice processing machine, and also brings a large market for it.

◆ Paddy to rice process

The whole paddy processing steps as below:

rice milling technology in United States

1. Cleaning to remove different sized impurities and stones from raw paddy. Different specifications of the sieve can separate large, small, and light impurities from wheat, paddy. It includes two procedures: paddy cleaning and de-stoning, which are finished by the paddy cleaner machine and destoner machine.
2. The hulling process did by rice huller to remove the husk from the paddy. After the husk removing process, the product is called brown rice and is ready for the milling process.
3. Separating is intended to separate mixed or low uniformity grain to improve the purity degree of brown rice. See more information on paddy separating: MGCZ Series Double-body Gravity Paddy Separator
4. The milling process not only improves the rice appearance but prolongs the shelf life of rice. So it is very essential during the whole processing of rice.
According to different needs, the rice milling machine has various models to apply to many factories and families. One SM series emery roller rice milling machine can process 2t-3t per hour. However, the smallest rice milling machine “Automatic Home Use Rice Milling Machine”, which can whiten 20-30 kg/h.
5.Polishing: Rice is processed by the polisher, which removes the bran and improves the fineness of white rice. The polished rice has a high degree and becomes smooth on its surface.
6. Grading process to remove broken rice and arranging them into well-defined rice
7. Rice sorting is to make sure that there is no adulteration left in the rice.
8. Packing is the last stage of rice processing. The finished white rice is packed in different types of packets and is to be delivered to customers.

◆ Role of rice milling sector in the US’s economy

In 2009, the U.S. rice industry supported more than 128,000 jobs nationwide. The value of U.S. rice production at the farm level exceeded $3 billion in 2009. Additionally, the value-added to the U.S. gross domestic product was nearly $18 billion. These large economic contributions were attributed to the six states with rice mills.

location of US rice mills and merchants

location of US rice mills and merchants
The total economic contribution of rice milling to each state’s economy is summarized in the table below:

Output in Economic Activity
Total Value Added
$2.6 billion
$4.2 billion
$2 billion
$3.6 billion
$746 million
$1.3 billion
$357 million
$626 million
$358 million
$619 million
$336.9 million
$570.47 million