International Agriculture News

Portuguese rice imports increase as output declines

As rice planted area continues to decline, imports are steadily rising in Portugal, according to a Nov. 13 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The report said domestic production, which fell to 166,000 tonnes in 2016 from 184,000 tonnes in 2015 and is estimated at 151,000 in 2017, is in decline due to high input costs, stiff competition from imports and water limitations in key production areas. Rice planted area has fallen steadily from 31,000 hectares in 2011 to an estimated 26,000 in 2017.

Rice imports, under preferential trade agreements, have continuously increased over the past five years, it said. Main origins of Portuguese rice imports include Guyana, Suriname, India, Cambodia, and Thailand. Imports have risen dramatically the last several years, increasing from 111,324 tonnes in 2014 to 182,898 in 2016, according to the report.

Portugal is the fourth largest E.U. rice producer, accounting for about 6% of production, the report said. The country’s per capita rice consumption is nearly 17 kg per year, well above the E.U.’s average per capita consumption.