Rice: New Import Data Helps Better Monitor Market Trends

    Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    On July 1, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) implemented new Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes for milled and brown jasmine and milled basmati rice, following a successful petition led by USA Rice earlier this year.  This month, the first data using the new codes was published for rice imports and exports in July.

    The new HTS codes, also referred to as import codes, are particularly useful for refining import data from Thailand and India, the largest U.S. import origins by volume and primary sources for jasmine and basmati, respectively.  As can be seen in the table below, in June 2020 and all months prior, the majority of imports from Thailand and India were lumped into the ‘Milled Long Grain’ category.

    “Our members have long assumed that the bulk of imports coming from origins like Thailand and India fall into the fragrant rice categories but now we are sure of it,” said Peter Bachmann, USA Rice vice president of international trade policy.  “When our members formally asked us to pursue this change to the HTS codes in February, we swiftly moved to file a petition with the support from member companies and just seven months later we’re seeing the fruits of that labor through a more specified level of data.”

    “From the perspective of someone buying and selling rice, this breakdown of long grain imports to account for jasmine and basmati is tremendously helpful,” said Ryan Carwell, Arkansas rice merchant and chair of the USA Rice Merchants’ Association.  “We can now identify new market trends and determine how we, as an industry, may need to adapt to changing consumer demands moving forward.”

    The new data is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Global Agriculture Trading System for rice imports and exports from July 2020 onward.




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