By the time the dust settles, the rice industry is in the same precarious position that it was a year ago.
Rice prices are down nearly 40% from the $1.20 per bushel mark that they were at last November.
And the global price for the grain, a key ingredient for many American and European dishes, has plunged to a 25-year low.
That means that the price of rice, a staple in the diets of millions of Americans, is being pushed to near zero by the industry’s two dominant players: the United States and China.
It’s the latest twist in a long and painful saga that has pitted the nation’s biggest agricultural players against each other over the past decade, with one player, the U.S. Rice Association, gaining a strong foothold in the U to a $1 billion annual market.
The latest price drop follows years of price pressure on the industry by China and other countries.
In March, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that “the price of a single bushel of rice has plunged by more than half in a year.”
The price is now at $0.78 per bushell, or $0,200 per ton, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.
In the U., rice prices have been dropping since 2012 and, while prices have stabilized, they have risen since then, reaching a record high last year.
The most recent fall is the result of a glut of imports that has pushed up rice prices to levels not seen since the 2008-09 global financial crisis.
U.s. rice farmers, which have been growing rice at an average annual rate of more than 2.5 million tons a year since 2007, are feeling the pinch of low prices.
“It’s a little difficult to say where the bottom is,” said David Bongiorno, chief executive of the Texas-based U. S. Rice Council.
The U. States is one of the world’s top rice producers.
Rice imports to China have increased by nearly 50% since 2011.
Chinese imports of rice from the U have more than doubled.
In April, China and India agreed to a package of measures to curb food imports from each other, a deal that was widely seen as a signal to U. of A. rice growers that they must take some control of their rice prices or face the wrath of the global rice market.
China’s grain trade with the U is a $50 billion industry.
India has about 1 million tons of rice a year in its export quota to the U, according.
Rice futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange have fallen sharply since mid-March.
The price of the rice that the industry sells to the Chinese has declined by more that 40% since last year, when it hit $1 per bushe, according of the International Rice Council, an industry trade group.
The industry’s share of the U’s market has declined from 28% to 10%.
“We are the second largest exporter in the world,” said Michael Cappelli, the executive vice president of the American Rice Council’s Asia Pacific.
“The U. Of A. is going to have to work more hard to get back on its feet.”
A decade ago, rice prices were high and the industry was thriving.
The cost of rice was about $1 a bushel.
Now, prices are about $0 and the market has been plunged by almost a third since 2010.
In 2010, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that the U rice sector earned $2.8 billion in revenue from rice exports.
The International Rice Association estimates that its exports to China accounted for $1-1.5 billion of that.
The trade bloc’s rice exports to the United Sates have dropped from $3.5-4 billion in 2010 to $2-3 billion last year and to $1-$1.4 billion this year.
China, which accounts for about one-fifth of the total U. s rice trade, is also losing money.
U of A., which imports more than 40% of the United s rice imports, is losing money, said John Gorman, a senior research analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.
The government of China is expected to issue a statement later this month saying that it will reduce the value of its exports by 50% this year, according the International Trade Association, which represents the U of a rice importer.
The country is also considering an increase in its import duties, according a report by the U.-China Economic and Trade Commission.
That would be an economic shock to U of S rice farmers who rely on cheap rice imports to feed their families.
“If you look at China’s economic performance, it’s a long way from where it should be,” said Jim McElroy, an analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based Rice Institute for International Studies.
“What’s happened over the last 10 years is that China is now producing a lot more rice, and it’s