Rice EU Management Committee/EU External Trade

The role of the external trade, in particular imports, is very significant in the EU, as around one third of EU rice needs must be imported.

The EU imports every year approx. 1 million tonnes of rice (milled basis) and 300 000 tonnes of broken rice.

EU rice imports consist mainly of Indica rice. For Japonica, the EU is self-sufficient and a small exportable surplus is produced (approx. 200 000 tonnes milled eq). Around 90% of EU rice exports are made of Japonica rice. Italy is responsible for around 70% of the total exports and Spain provides an additional 15 %.

Volumes and origin are influenced by the tariff preferences granted by the EU to various EU rice producing countries. For instance:

  • around 300 000 tonnes or 30% of total EU rice imports come as duty-free imports from countries benefiting from the so-called EBA agreement like Cambodia and Myanmar
  • around 300 000 tonnes or 30% of total EU rice imports come as duty-free imports of husked Basmati rice from India and Pakistan

The structure of rice imports has changed over the last years with an increase of imports of milled rice (approx. 600 000 tonnes ie 60% of all rice imports) and a decrease of imports of husked rice (non-Basmati).

Imports of husked Basmati rice have been increasing thanks to the commercial agreement with India and Pakistan which allow duty-free imports of husked Basmati rice produced from 9 eligible varieties (see Regulation (EC) No 972/2006). Basmati imports represent ~ 30 % of total EU rice imports (300 000 tonnes milled eq). In general, two-thirds of Basmati imports are covered by India and one-third by Pakistan.

The origin of EU rice imports has also significantly changed over the last years. While India and Thailand remain key suppliers, duty free imports originating from countries benefiting from the Every But Arms (EBA) agreement, mainly Cambodia and Myanmar, have been increasing, while imports originating from ACP countries such as Guyana and Surinam have been decreasing.

Balance Sheet

The EU rice balance sheet is regularly updated and published at http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cereals/balance-sheets/rice/overview_en.pdf