Colombia to Import 200,000 New Metric Tons of Rice in 2016
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA — Nearly one-third of Colombia’s provinces are in a state of emergency due to extreme drought caused by El Niño, prompting the Colombian government to allow additional rice imports to maintain adequate inventory.
On December 22, 2015, Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture published a decree stating that 200,000 MT of rice imported in 2016 would be from the Andean community and third countries, under existing tariffs. This decree proposes to bring in tonnage above the United States’ 2016 TRQ allotment of 94,209 MT; however, these additional imports would be subject to the relevant duty (56 percent duty for Paraguay, 64 percent duty for Mercosur and 80 percent for the U.S., Thailand, and others). The 80 percent duty for U.S. rice, coupled with the strength of the U.S. dollar, may create an opening for Thai rice in the near term to fill the Colombian short fall.
“Colombia is our third largest market and with ample rice supplies in the current U.S. market, the U.S. is in a position to provide this additional rice to Colombia,” said Jim Guinn, USA Rice vice president of international promotion. “Imports of the Andean Community have historically been assigned to mills according to domestic harvest purchases; USA Rice is investigating whether this would occur with this allotment of 200,000 MT.”
Guinn continued, “In addition, USA Rice is in regular dialog with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service in Bogotá as well as Fedearroz (Federation of Colombian Rice Producers) and Induarroz (Colombian Rice Industry) to make the strong case to buy U.S.-grown rice which has the quality and reliability they are seeking.”