The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports Mexico was the top U.S. rice export destination in 2006. U.S. rice and rice product exports exceeded a record $226 million, more than 23 percent from the previous year.

Volumes rose by 7.5 percent, and values rose at 23.6 percent. Japan, Iraq, Haiti, and Canada followed Mexico in exports.

In addition to being the top market for rough rice, exports to Mexico are diversifying. Mexico is growing as an importer of U.S. parboiled rice (fifth ranking); medium grain rice (fourth); long grain milled rice (seventh); bran (first); and flakes (first). In each category, significant growth has been shown over the past five years.