U.S. Rice Losses Market Share to Guyana and Suriname. 

In 2013 no U.S. paddy rice was imported into Jamaica- The first time in recent history. Trade sources say that this is due to quality and pricing concerns. Traditionally, U.S. paddy rice was the primary rice milled in Jamaica and made up about 20% of all rice imports. However, in the last five years the quantity of U.S. paddy rice imports drop from a high of 46,000 MT in 2008 to 3,300 MT in 2012 and none in 2013.

The sole rice mill has completely replaced U.S. paddy rice imports with imports from Guyana. The total market remains steady at about 90,000 MT per annum. In addition, Suriname has become a major supplier over the past five years reaching 28% of total imports in 2011 the last year for which data is available.

In general, both imports from Guyana and Suriname receive preferential treatment under the common external tariff (CET) for Caricom countries. At present the CET on rice is 25% for non-Caricom countries