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American rice in the Portuguese market during the second half of the 18th century

Grant number: 23/15433-1
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2024 - March 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics
Principal Investigator:Renato Leite Marcondes
Grantee:Renato Leite Marcondes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto (FEARP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Anne Gerard Hanley

Abstract

Rice became a product exported across the Atlantic in the 18th century, despite being a staple food. This commodity was very different from the luxury goods most typically exported during the colonial period, such as sugar and tobacco. Rice was traded across the Atlantic from the beginning of the 18th century, first from the English colony of Carolina and then from Brazil. This research analyzes the international trade of a staple commodity that produced in marginal colonial areas and marketed competitively like the principal products of the Atlantic trade. Portugal was an important destination for this commodity in Europe, depending heavily on food imports at that time. Although there are isolated studies on each of these suppliers, especially for the colonies in northern America, few highlight the competition between Carolina and Brazil for the Portuguese market. We use new primary sources to illuminate this new market that was formed, especially in the second half of the 18th century. This research not only complements existing export series; it also analyzes the consumption and productive and commercial structure of rice. For other products, such as cotton, comparisons between Brazilian and North American supply are quite prominent, as well as between sugar and coffee producers in Latin America. Thus, studies have focused on the main export goods across the Atlantic, with little investigation of basic food products in the colonial period. (AU)

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