Market Analysis

For information on current and previous baseline projections for rice, see the market outlook chapter.

Haiti's U.S. Rice Imports

(January 2016) examines the importance of rice imports to the diet of the Haitian population and analyzes numerous factors that limit Haiti’s ability to expand rice production.  The report concludes that Haiti will continue to import about 80 percent of its rice and that the Unites States will likely remain the major supplier due to quality, proximity, and consumer preference.

China’s Growing Participation in Agricultural Markets: Conflicting Signals (2015) examines the role of China as a major global importer of agricultural commodities.  With rising living standards and increasing urbanization, food demand is expected to continue growing while resource constraints limit growth in production, indicating China will remain a large net-importer of farm products.

Southeast Asia's Rice Surplus

(December 2012) examines the ability of this region to remain the world’s largest rice exporting region, despite hosting several major importers.  The report concludes that slower consumption growth and continued expansion in output will allow Southeast Asia to remain the world’s largest rice exporter, a factor critical to the global rice market.

Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector

(April 2011) examines how the structure of the U.S. rice industry evolved from 1992 to 2007. The authors analyze the economic factors driving these structural changes and explore the implications of those changes for market efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S. rice industry.

Factors Behind the Rise in Global Rice Prices in 2008

(May 2009) examines factors underlying the high prices seen from November 2007 to April 2008. The price increase did not result from a crop failure or a particularly tight global rice supply situation. Instead, trade restrictions by major suppliers, panic-buying by several large importers, a weak U.S. dollar, and record oil prices were the immediate cause of the rise in rice prices.

Agricultural Commodity Price Spikes in the 1970s and 1990s: Valuable Lessons for Today (March 2009) examines the recent run-up in commodity prices in light of similar occurrences in 1971-74 and 1994-96. Although similar to those earlier price run-ups, rising demand for grains and oilseeds for biofuels adds a new dimension of complexity.

Fluctuating Food Commodity Prices: A Complex Issue With No Easy Answers (November 2008) explores the many factors that contributed to the rapid escalation of food commodity prices through mid-2008. For the full report, see:

Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Rice Farms

(March 2004) reports that regional differences in production practices, farm characteristics, and growing conditions were major influences on production costs incurred by U.S. rice producers in 2000. Three-quarters of rice production was concentrated on large and very large farms, categories that included nearly two-thirds of all rice farms.

Developing Supply and Utilization Tables for the U.S. Rice Market (November 2000) explains how USDA prepares monthly supply and use tables for the U.S. rice sector. It describes data sources, start-of-year forecasts, and year-end estimates.

Characteristics of U.S. Rice Farming (November 2000) uses census data to describe the structure of rice farming in the United States.


China's Growing Demand for Agricultural Imports

(February 2015) examines China’s recent emergence as a major agricultural importer, analyzes U.S.-China trade patterns, summarizes projections of future imports, and discusses how Chinese officials are adjusting their strategic approach to agricultural trade as imports grow.

Growth and Evolution in China's Agricultural Support Policies

(August 2013) examines China’s expanding program of domestic agricultural support that has raised concerns among trading partners.  Specifically, industry leaders and policymakers in the United States and elsewhere want to know how China’s policies affect production and agricultural trade.

Indian Wheat and Rice Sector Policies and the Implications of Reform

(May 2007) suggests that future developments in India's food grain sector will be shaped by how policies adapt to the sector's new economic environment. Some changes, such as reducing price supports and the scope of government food grain operations, would likely cut government costs, benefit consumers, allow a larger private-sector role in the domestic market, and increase reliance on trade.

Commercialization of Food Consumption in Rural China

(July 2005) finds that rural households rely on self-produced commodities, especially grains and vegetables, for a large share of the food they consume. However, as incomes rise and markets develop, rural households purchase more of their food from markets.

China's New Farm Subsidies

(February 2005) describes new policies that China implemented in 2004 and assesses their impact on Chinese rural income and grain production. China introduced direct subsidies for farmers, began to phase out its centuries-old agricultural tax, and implemented other policies benefitting farmers.

China's Japonica Rice Market: Growth and Competitiveness (November 2002) briefly describes the evolution of China's japonica rice market over the last two decades, including the impact of changes on China's competitiveness in key Asian import markets. Although China has traditionally exported long grain (or indica) rice varieties, in recent years, it has exported substantial amounts of japonica rice as well.

Taiwan's Rice Import Market to Open with WTO Accession (November 2001) reviews Taiwan's policies toward its most important crop. World Trade Organization accession in 2002 has introduced a minimum access import quota of 8 percent, and in order to withdraw an equivalent amount of production from the market, Taiwan's government is preparing to enlarge the paddy area that farmers leave fallow.

The U.S. Rice Export Market (November 2000) analyzes the markets for different types of U.S.-grown rice. Trends within each market are addressed, as well as the U.S. position in global rice trade.

Rice Tariffication in Japan: What Does It Mean for Trade? (April 1999) examines how Japan used tariff-rate quotas in 1999 and 2000 to slow growth in rice imports. While Japan now allows imports above the minimum amounts required under the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, tariffs on rice imports above minimum access are prohibitively high--in 1999, 450 percent of the price of imported rice. U.S. rice exports to Japan likely increased at a slower rate than under fixed quantitative limits.

Commodity Policy

Agricultural Act of 2014: Highlights and Implications provides highlights and summaries of important new programs and provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, as well as some economic implications of the new farm legislation based on ERS expertise in relevant policy areas.

2008 Farm Bill Side-By-Side (August 2008) presents a title-by-title summary of key provisions of the 2008 Act in a side-by-side comparison with previous legislation. The side-by-side includes links to related ERS publications and to analyses of previous farm acts. New features include a user's guide, an A-Z list of major provisions, and a search function

Valuing Counter-Cyclical Payments: Implications for Producer Risk Management and Program Administration

(February 2007) illustrates an improved method for estimating counter-cyclical payment (CCP) rates by accounting for the variability in market price forecast errors. Forecasters and producers can use the model to calculate the probability of having to repay advanced CCPs.

Rice Backgrounder

(December 2006) reports that U.S. rice farming is a high-cost, large-scale operation. While domestic disappearance continues to increase, the outlook for rice farm incomes is tempered by higher production costs and continued strong competition in many international markets from lower cost Asian exporters.