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Note: This topic page may contain material that has not yet been updated to reflect the new Farm Act, signed into law on February 7. ERS has published highlights and some implications of the Act’s new programs and provisions.  Sign up for the ERS Farm Bill e-newsletter to receive notices of topic page updates and other new Farm Bill-related materials on the ERS website.

Market Analysis

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

Consolidation and Structural Change in the U.S. Rice Sector examines how the structure of the U.S. rice industry has evolved over the past two decades. 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 during November 2007 to April 2008. The price increase did not result from 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.

Rice Yearbook (Rice Year in Review) provides in-depth information and analysis of U.S. and international rice markets for the previous market year. The domestic section focuses on U.S. production, export markets, and prices. The global section looks at major producers, consumers, importers, and exporters and describes factors driving international trade.

Agricultural Commodity Price Spikes in the 1970s and 1990s: Valuable Lessons for Today (March 2008) examines the recent runup in commodity prices in light of similar occurrences in 1971-74 and 1994-96. Although similar to those earlier price runups, 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 Global Agricultural Supply and Demand: Factors Contributing to the Recent Increase in Food Commodity Prices (July 2008).

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   16x16 - PDF (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   16x16 - PDF (November 2000) uses census data to describe the structure of rice farming in the United States.

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   16x16 - PDF (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   16x16 - PDF (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   16x16 - PDF (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?   16x16 - PDF (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

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.

Last updated: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For more information contact: Nathan Childs

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