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First U.S. Rice Exported to Cuba Since 2007

First U.S. Rice Exported to Cuba Since 2007
APRIL 4, 2017 01:12 PM
By Ben Potter
AgWeb.com
Social Media and Innovation Editor

John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council,
reports that a shipment of rice will travel from the port of
Houston/Galveston to the Republic of Cuba – the first shipment of its
kind in a decade.

The shipment was reportedly valued at $252,000, including $126,000 worth
of rice “semi/wholly milled, parboiled, inc mixes” and $126,000 worth of
rice “semi/wholly milled, mixtures of grains.”

Cuba imports about 80% of its food, creating a potential $2 billion
market for U.S. farmers. According to the Engage Cuba Coalition, U.S.
producers cannot offer private credit for exported ag commodities to
Cuba. This restricts access compared to other exporting nations.

Blake Gerard, chairman for the USA Rice Farmers Board of Directors,
addressed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture
Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management on the
matter earlier today.

“With the appropriate statutory changes, the U.S. could regain 30% of
the Cuban rice business within two years,” he says. “That is an
estimated 135,000 metric tons of new demand. We anticipate the U.S.
share of the market would exceed 50% within five years, and it could
reach 75% or more within ten years with full commercial relations. That
is equal to somewhere between $40 and $60 million worth of new demand
from Cuba within those first two years of lifted sanctions.”

According to Kavulich, from 2002 to 2007, rice exports from the U.S. to
Cuba topped $183 million.

Source: First U.S. Rice Exported to Cuba Since 2007 – News | Agweb.com –
www.agweb.com/article/first-us-rice-exported-to-cuba-since-2007-naa-ben-potter/

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