USA Rice Federation's annual survey of milled rice shipments to the U.S. domestic market is now available. The report can be obtained at www.usarice.com

Key findings from the report:

  • Total rice shipments of 114 mm cwt shipped to the domestic U.S., U.S. territories, and export markets — a 16 percent increase over last year, with sharply higher exports and higher crop production driving the increase.

  • 70 mm cwt shipped within the domestic U.S. Fifty-six percent of these shipments went to direct food use and 44 percent went into pet food, processed food, beer and sake.

  • Of rice shipments for direct food use, the largest market segments for rice were retail grocery and warehouse clubs; 35 percent, ethnic distributors and repackers; 22 percent; and mainline foodservice 17 percent.

  • The domestic market segments with the strongest growth include ethnic distributors up 20 percent; warehouse clubs up 16 percent; and mainline foodservice, up 12 percent.

  • Americans consume 25 pounds of rice per person annually. • The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported 17 mm cwt of rice imports — the highest figure on record — during the 2007-2008 milling year. That number is projected to decrease for the 2008-2009 marketing year.