Rice: Mexico Offers Duty Free Quotas to Sellers, Except for U.S. Rice

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

The common phrase, “no two years alike” is frequently heard in the rice sector among U.S. rice farmers and today it’s common in Mexico. 

Numerous origins of rice are imported into Mexico now more than ever. Being the largest import market in the Western Hemisphere, a growing list of sellers from Guyana, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States have their focus on the Mexican market today.

Low domestic production, increased consumption in a population of 120 million and growing, along with the Mexican government’s reaction to the messages out of Washington, DC is driving the marketplace. That reaction resulted in the issuing of duty free quotas of 150,000 tons milled basis per year from sources other than the U.S.

Being an 85% price driven market, it’s largely about who can arrive at the doorstep with the lowest price. And now that the Trans Pacific Partnership, which includes Vietnam, has been approved by the Mexican authorities. The total phase-in period for lower duties means that in 10 years, Vietnamese rice will have a zero duty, so in 4-5 years the percentage drops significantly. Southeast Asian prices are having more influence every year in Mexico.

Dwight Roberts traveled to Mexico this week and met with all the major rice millers and leading packers for planning joint initiatives with the customers of U.S. rough and milled rice. Due to popular demand in the U.S., the USRPA will be coming out with a updated second edition of last year’s Mexican Rice Directory soon.

The Rice Advocate


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