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S.Korea, China Make Little Headway In Last Minute Rice Talks
Seoul and Beijing made little progress in bilateral talks designed to reach a compromise on the future course of South Korea's rice liberalization, the Ministry of Agriculture said Friday.

In the seventh working-level meeting in the Chinese capital, the two sides reiterated their previous stances.

South Korean negotiators have hinted that China was the toughest of the nine negotiating partners. They said Beijing made hard demands which they claimed were unrealistic in light of the shrinking rice market.

The ministry said a minimum market access of 8.9 per cent was being requested by 2014, but did not specify which country called for that level of access. Some rice exporting countries asked for 75 per cent be sold directly to consumers.

South Korea said such demands were hard to accept, especially since such a move might distort the market and result in a sharp drop in rice prices that could hurt local growers.

Seoul is currently holding talks with nine countries, including the United States, China, Thailand and Australia, to decide on how to approach its future rice market liberalization.

Under a 1994 agreement at the Uruguay Round talks, South Korea was given the right to limit rice imports to 4 per cent of total domestic consumption for 10 years. The country is required to conclude a settlement that will either retain its import quota at the expense of more "mandatory" imports or adopt a tariff system from 2005.
MGR Archive 21.11.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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