Last week, representatives of some 185 rice businesses from 35 countries gathered at the Rice Market & Technology Convention in Cancun, Mexico to discuss a rice market unseen by anyone in attendance. The large participation was thanks in part to the conditions of the world market situation over the past two years, which continues to be complicated due to a number of factors such as weather, war, oil prices, COVID-19, soaring production costs, labor, logistics, and related issues.
USRPA President and CEO Marcela Garcia, who has directed the conference for the past 11 years, was pleased but unsurprised by the increased attendance, pointing out, “This is a direct result of the market itself and the industry’s need to interact and conduct business while trying to get a feel for what lies ahead both short term and long term.”
Popular economist Dennis DeLaughter set the tone for the conference with his opening presentation titled “The Law of Unintended Consequences: Embracing Change,” highlighting the impacts on the economy and agriculture caused by world events. The conference consisted of two full days of presentations that ended with “Impacts of Higher Agricultural Input Values and Competitive Crop Pricing on the Rice Sector” by Dr. Thomas Wynn and Jay Davis of Coastal Rice and Futures Inc, giving participants something to talk and think about no matter their country of origin.
Prior to the conference itself, the Central American Rice Federation (FECARROZ) held its regular board meeting while SuperBrix and Applied Milling Systems conducted a well-attended, one-day seminar for rice milling managers titled “Follow the Money: Closing the Rice Profitability Circle.” The class involved milling engineer Norris Bond, well known worldwide in rice milling design and management.
“This year’s conference was a unique one and the RMTC has become exactly what we envisioned many years ago,” according to USRPA market advisor Dwight Roberts, adding that plans to make the 2023 conference even better are underway.