12% increase in volume; 20% increase in value
The Guyana Rice Development Board’s 2019 export report has revealed that US$222.7 million was earned through the export of rice to more than 35 countries in that year alone. The export value for 2019 represents an increase of 20% when compared to the revenue earned from the export in 2018 (US $186 million).
526,617 tonnes of paddy, rice and rice by-products were exported in 2019 compared with 470,312 tonnes in 2018, an increase of 12%. The greatest amount of exports went to Latin American countries, with Venezuela being the largest buyer of rice from Guyana for 2019 with 177,682 tonnes (34% of all exports). Second to Venezuela was Portugal with a total of 61,873 tonnes of rice being exported there, representing 12% of the total amount of rice exported.
69,956 tonnes (13%) valued at US $35 million were exported to CARICOM countries in 2019. Of this figure, Jamaica and Trinidad were the largest CARICOM importers, importing 32,743 tonnes and 25,417 tonnes respectively. Guyana exported rice to ten CARICOM countries, namely; Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
214,190 tonnes of rice (41%) were shipped to the European Union in 2019, compared with 146,092 tonnes shipped in 2018, an increase of 47%. Main importing countries were Portugal, Italy, United Kingdom and Spain.
241,919 tonnes of products (46%) were exported to Latin American countries of which 177,682 tonnes were shipped to Venezuela. Other main importing countries were Cuba, Columbia, Honduras and Panama.
As it relates to export by product, white rice was the largest export earner. White rice accounted for 51% of the total amount of rice exported in 2019, earning US $128,105,107. Other products exported were parboiled rice, cargo rice, paddy and bran.
Guyana produced more than one million tonnes of paddy for 2019, making it the second highest production year for rice in Guyana. With annual average yields increasing steadily and closing 2019 at 5.9 tonnes per hectare, production is expected to continue to increase in the coming years.