USA, which has the largest presence in UK rice in the EU, has experienced an impressive 207 percent increase in all types of U.S. rice imports during the first 3 months of 2017 (over 10,000 MT valued at $5.4 million). This has been driven by a staggering 5,877 percent increase in parboiled long grain rice imports and a 515 percent increase in long grain imports. “For long a mainstay of ethnic markets here, we’re now seeing an overwhelming response from USA Rice promotions aimed at getting U.S. rice back onto mainstream UK retail shelves,” said Terry Harris, Chairman of the USA Rice Europe, Middle East, Africa Promotion Subcommittee. “Following the initial success with retail promotions in 2014, we are seeing exports here increase significantly this year,” he continued.
UK, a traditionally important market for U.S. long grain rice, has also developed key relationships with the Chinese and Afro-Caribbean countries but continued to strengthen its marketing activities by a broader strategy encompassing ethnic wholesale and retail. “In addition to the retail and ethnic sectors, U.S. rice is also experiencing demand from the UK foodservice and manufacturing sectors. A spokesperson for a leading UK manufacturer, Mr. Schmidt, recently remarked that ‘the premium quality and consistency of US rice is seen as a benefit to both manufacturers and consumers alike.” Mr. Hartwig Schmidt, USA Rice Regional Director, remarked, “Our focus, patience, and hard work have been rewarded and now U.S. rice is returning more broadly to the market.”