Following closely on the heels of a 30,000 MT award in August, Iraq has just announced another purchase of 90,000 MT of U.S. rice.
Last month, Iraq’s Ministry of Trade had called for 30,000 MT of rice in a public tender and also 30,000 MT of rice under the U.S. – Iraq Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Instead of only purchasing 30,000 MT under the MOU, Iraq chose to purchase 90,000 MT. This brings the total amount of U.S. rice generated by the MOU up to 210,000 MT since its inception in July 2016.
“This announcement comes at an opportune time for our industry, as we continue to feel the effects of lower exports due to retaliatory tariffs and trade tensions, and simultaneously have a massive influx of crop as we’re finishing up this year’s harvest,” said USA Rice Chairman Charley Mathews. “Countless people involved in the rice industry will benefit from this sale, including farmers, millers, packagers, logistics operators, and shippers.”
“We wouldn’t have this great story to tell were it not for a massive team effort to see these tenders succeed, including help from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue,” said Ben Mosely, USA Rice vice president for government affairs. “Congressmen Abraham (R-LA), Crawford (R-AR), Higgins (R-LA), and Westerman (R-AR), and Senators Boozman (R-AR) and Cotton (R-AR) helped communicate the importance of these tenders to both the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and the Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen. In addition, the letters encouraged both ambassadors to work to ensure that high-quality U.S. rice can continue to be provided to the Iraqi people.”
Iraq imports more than one million tons of rice annually and has been, and continues to be, an important destination for U.S. rice.