The Port of Sacramento exports on an average of 180,000‐200,000 tons of “bagged rice” per year to Asia. For the first time in two and a half years, an export shipment of “bulk rice” grown in Northern California will be made this week from the Port of Sacramento.
The 25,000 metric ton shipment by Connell Rice & Sugar Co. – which includes rice grown in Butte, Colusa, Glen, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba Counties – is headed to Puerto Rico. Connell Rice and Sugar Co. is based in New Jersey and ships bagged and bulk rice from Northern California each year.
“We’re very pleased to see this part of our business coming back,” said Mike McGowan, chairman of the Sacramento‐Yolo Port District Commission. “Agricultural exports and bulk rice in particular have historically played an important role for the Port and we look forward to more of these shipments in the future.”
Changes in the global rice market, such as the increasing use of food crops for production of bio‐fuels, have made California rice more competitive in locations that recently have been served by other countries.
“This shipment from the Port of Sacramento represents an exciting opportunity to send rice to a location that in the past was an important market for California growers,” said Tim Johnson, President and CEO of the California Rice Commission. “Looking forward, we anticipate additional bulk and container rice shipments from California to traditional markets in the Middle East and potentially Puerto Rico in response to export bans from China, Egypt and other countries.”
While the Port of Sacramento has continued in recent years to export bagged rice, it is home to the only rice silo in California that can store bulk milled, or food‐grade, rice.