US Rice Producers Association Continues To Build Trade Relations In China

 Meeting in Beijing with importers/buyers

   The US Rice Producers Association (USRPA) lead a trade mission to China with the purpose of continuing to develop our Chinese rice industry contacts, cultivate new contacts, gain in-depth understanding of the rice market and establish a market for US rice.  From October 13-21, 2019, USRPA board and industry members traveled to Beijing, Hefei, and Shanghai to meet with importers/buyers in an effort to further expose     US medium and long grain rice to the largest rice market in the world.
   The 10-day Trade Mission proved to be a great success with several buyers/ importers expressing strong interest in US rice, both long and medium grain and largely associated it to the US cultivation techniques. Chinese consumers are extremely impressed by the sustainable farming practices, cleanliness and safety of inputs and transparency that US rice provides. Since the approval of the US/China trade protocol in     December 2018 no rice has been sold. In this trade mission the USRPA set out to accomplish two goals, promote US rice in the world’s largest market, and discover why more rice hasn’t traded to this market yet.  Fortunately, the USRPA was successful in both these endeavors.   
   While Chinese consumers possess different taste preferences than our more traditional Western and Middle Eastern markets, there remains substantial opportunity to expand the presence of US rice in China. The identity preserved long grain varieties as well as the japonica varieties had the best reception and we expect those products to have more success in China.  China produces 45 million metric tons of medium grain rice, as well as hybrid medium/long grain and long grain rice. It is estimated that Japonica based rice amounts to 60% of the market.  
   The USRPA has monitored the Chinese market long before the extensive process to establish a protocol agreement between the two countries.    Analyzing market conditions over 20 years ago supported the USRPA’s application to receive funding from the US Department of Agriculture and Foreign Agricultural Service under the Emerging Markets Program in 2005.  These funds were used to conduct consumer tastings and surveys in China’s modern supermarkets in several major cities, activities that paved the way for the U.S. rice industry and the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service to finalize a rice protocol to allow trade between the two countries.  
   Trade Mission members included Marcela Garcia: COO, USRPA, Grace Wang: China Liaison, USRPA , Thomas Turner: USRPA Board, Stuart Hoetger and Logan Wilson: The Stogan Group, Lawrence Wagner, Qiren Chu, RiceTec and Andres Perez, Interra. ∆
Column and photos submitted by USRPA.

 China International Grain and Oil Expo in Hefei, Anhui
 L to R: Andres Perez, Chinese, Tommy Turner, Dr. Chu, Stuart Hoetger, Patrick Yu ,
 Marcela Garcia, Logan Wilson and Eric Zhang  

 Jiangsu Changshu Rice Field outside of Shanghai 
 From left to right: Stuart Hoetger, Hui Zhu , Grace Wang, Lawrence Wagner, Marcela Garcia, Logan 
 Wilson, Andres Perez, Dr. Chu, Mr. Wong and Tommy Turner

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