History was made this week when an agreement permitting US rice exports to China was signed during bi-lateral trade meetings held in Washington DC. An inspection of US rice mills and packaging facilities by the Chinese phytosanitary authorities is the next step to take place. The first exports to China will take several months but will provide a boost to new crop sales.
The U.S. Rice Producers Association (USRPA) said the process began in 2006 when they applied for funding under the Department’s Emerging Markets Program. The grant from USDA allowed USRPA to travel to China and determine that in fact there was a market for U.S. rice.
USPRA Director of Emerging Markets Greg Yielding was able to show that Chinese consumers did want to buy U.S. rice and he belives we could see exports heading to China before the end of the year: Interview with Greg Yielding, U.S. Rice Producers Association