Rice exports to China underway

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Rice exports to China underway

A Chinese delegation of quarantine officers will arrive in Korea today to conduct a week-long field inspection of domestic rice factories.

A number of companies will likely be selected and authorized to export their products to China next year, the Gyeonggi Provincial Government announced in a statement Monday.

Four officers plan to visit six rice-processing complexes nationwide, starting with an establishment that produces Ingeumnimpyo Icheonssal-brand rice in Icheon, Gyeonggi, on Wednesday; Bit Gwangbokssal-brand rice in Cheongju, North Chungcheong, on Thursday; Seocheon Seoraeyassal-brand rice in Seochon County, South Chungcheong, on Friday; Cheolsaedoraejissal-brand rice in Gunsan, North Jeolla, on Friday; Hannune Banhanssal-brand rice in Haenam County, South Jeolla, on Saturday; and Odaessal-brand rice in Cheorwon County, Gangwon, on Sunday.

If deals are successfully agreed upon, it would mark the first time Korea has had the opportunity to export rice to China following the ratification of the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement last month. Four or five of the six companies on the itinerary are expected to be selected.

Chinese rice imports reached 2,560,000 tons last year, 500 tons of which were short- and medium-grain crops similar to local rice. Among the countries that shipped rice of that length, Japan exported the most at 140 tons; other exporters include Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. China’s annual import quota for this type of rice is 2,660,000 tons.

Local pundits predict Korean rice will have a competitive edge in the Chinese market, as the country is located closer to China than Japan, which downsizes shipping costs.

BY LIM MYOUNG-SOO [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]
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