Missouri rice producers could soon have a new export market. Greg Yielding, with the Missouri Rice Council and U.S. Rice Producers says Egypt is very interested in buying Missouri’s unmilled rice. Water shortages have led to zero growing of rice in Egypt.
“Egypt has a lot of rice mills,” he tells Brownfield Ag News. “What’s happening is those rice mills will be idle. They won’t be working. They’ll just be sitting there. No rice to mill.”
In July, Yielding and a Southeast Missouri State University ag professor travelled to Egypt with their proposal to ship rough rice there.
Southeast Missouri is a major producer of medium grain rice, which Egypt prefers.
“It goes to the mill. They mill it,” he says. “They get to hire people to run the mills. They get the benefit of the byproducts, the hulls, the brand.”
Yielding says the rice could be shipped across Egypt and re-exported to countries in the Middle East.
He is optimistic U.S. rice will soon be imported by China with the current trade battle not negatively impacting that process that has been in the works for well over a decade.
By Julie Harker of Brownfield Ag News