Brazil's rice exports are expected to reach 1.2 million tons this year according to estimates from ABIARROZ (the Brazilian rice industry association), based on overseas sales between January and October which totalled 958,000 tons.
In the same period of 2020, an exceptional year, rice exports totalled 1.68 million tons. Likewise in 2019 overseas sales reached 1,43 million tons.
“Marking the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2020 was atypical, with great worldwide demand for rice. Now, in 2021 with the disease much more under control, we are returning to normality with numbers close to those of 2019, that is, before the sanitary crisis”, Gustavo Trevisan, Director of International Affairs at Abiarroz said.
Trevisan also pointed out that global economic recovery has impacted logistics worldwide, with a sharp rise in ocean freight costs plus container rentals. These factors hampered rice sales to foreign markets.
“Even in this adverse scenario, we should see strong exports in 2021; which proves to the international market the quality of Brazilian rice and the efficiency of our industry”, he added.
Last month, Brazil exported 140,600 tons husk based (or 106.900 tons); the total volume was 3.84% lower than in October 2020. Of the total, 15,600 tons went to Peru which resumed imports of the Brazilian product. Costa Rica, Cuba, Netherlands, and Venezuela complete the list of the five main importers of the Brazilian cereal in October.
Outside of Asia, Brazil is the largest producer and consumer of rice. Its average yearly production totals some 15 million tons of unmilled rice to meet the consumption needs of 12.14 million tons. Brazil is a member of Mercosur, which has an average annual supply of over 20 million tons of rice (husk base), of which 7 million tons are exported.
Some 9 million tons or some 75% of Brazil's is harvested in the southern states of Santa Catarina and the Rio Grande do Sul, covering an area of 12,500 square kilometres, with an average yield of 7.500 kilos per hectare. The cereal for export originates entirely from this region. The rest of the national harvest, cultivated in other regions, is geared towards domestic consumption.