U.S. rice mills shipped nearly 12 billion pounds of rice to domestic and international markets from August 2010 to July 2011 — an 8 percent increase over the 2009-2010 figure, according to the annual USA Rice Federation U.S. Rice Domestic Usage Report, which tracks shipments and consumption of U.S. milled rice. Additionally, rice imports declined for a third consecutive year, down four percent to 1.3 billion pounds in 2010/2011 compared with 2009-2010. Exports increased two percent while domestic shipments increased 12 percent.

 Additional highlights from the report include:

·Sixty-one percent of total shipments went to the domestic market and 39 percent were exported.

·Of rice shipments to U.S. segments 61 percent went to direct food use and 39 percent went to food processors. Twenty-eight percent of direct food use went to retail grocery, 25 percent went to ethnic distributors, 18 percent repackers, and 17 percent for foodservice.

·Eighty-six percent of the rice consumed in the U.S. is domestically grown, and 14 percent is imported.

A full copy of the report can be obtained at usarice.com/reports.