U.S. farmers angry that Iraq no longer buys U.S. rice
U.S. rice farmers in many areas have suffered from drought and in other cases too much heat. Added to their problems are dropping prices and now the loss of an export market.
A U.S. rice farmer said:"That's just not right, "If we've got some rice to sell, they ought to pay a premium for it just because this is the country that freed them.""The farmer fails to notice that the Iraqis did not ask to be liberated, they were occupied. Along with other importers the Iraqis are buying based upon price.
However, Iraqi officials also point out the Iraqis prefer basmati type rice imported from India and at present it is available at a good price. In the past however 10 to 15 per cent of Iraqi rice came from the U.S. But since 2010 Iraq has bought none.
A U.S. official noted:"Iraq seems to be buying on price, and the lowest offered price is coming now from India," An Iraqi Trade Ministry official added:"We have no problem with the U.S. rice specifically, which was widely acceptable by Iraqis, but we are seeing a demand for the Indian rice rather than others, which is also bought in good prices,
The U.S. rice grower's problems are made worse by the fact that other countries such as Haiti are also seeking cheaper sources of rice as are a number of Central American buyers who are usually in the market for U.S. rice.
As often happens with farmers production costs are rising as the price of rice is falling leading to loss of profits or even losses. For more see this article.