The United States reported last week the sale of 30,000 tons of rice to Brazil. This follows on the decision from the Brazilian Chamber of Foreign Trade (Camex) to slash tariffs on rice to zero, helping to reduce the price of the grain for consumers.
The quota establishes that until December this year, 400,000 tons of rice may be imported from countries outside Mercosur without any tariffs. Black beans and rice are staple for the majority of Brazilians, and despite an excellent harvest of rice, the country exported most of it, putting the local market in a bind, and retail prices more than doubled.
Normally the main suppliers of rice to Brazil are Mercosur trade partners, Argentina and Uruguay, (with no tariffs) and so has been the case this year, to which must be added Italy, Panama and Vietnam, among others.
The purchase made on Sept. 18th is similar to the volume of 35,500 tons registered for sale by the USA to Brazil throughout 2010. In May of this year, however, Brazil imported 40,000 tons of rice, with tariff, from the US. According to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the largest annual volume of purchases of American rice made by Brazil occurred in 2003 (486,000 tons).