Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
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S Korea - Gov’t wary of falsely labeled rice imports
The Korean government has gone on alert over a possibility that rice from China, Australia and the United States will be disguised and sold as domestic rice for higher prices. Foreign rice will hit the domestic markets this March at the earliest.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) said on Tuesday that the government has formed a task force in coordination with provincial governments to monitor the illegal practice.

The ministry’s move came after reports from Taiwan that imported rice was disguised as expensive Japanese rice.

``We formed a task force composed of about 400 monitors,’’ a ministry spokesman said. ``Violators will be subject to severe fines.’’

He said the main targets are domestic distributors, adding that rice exporters could face sanctions if they engage in the process.

The spokesman said that imported rice will come in small bags, which would make it costlier to change their packages than when it comes in big bags.

``We have an advantage on our side,’’ the spokesman said, citing the costs of repackaging that will deter distributors from selling imported rice as domestic.

In Taiwan, rice from the U.S. and China was reportedly sold as a higher-quality product from Japan, while imported rice captured the majority of the market there under the 1994 Uruguay Round and ongoing negotiations for free trade agreements (FTA).

South Korea has so far imported only unpolished rice that is used for processed rice products, such as drinks and rice-cakes.

The nation will import polished rice for the first time this year following the National Assembly’s ratification of the government’s bill to open its rice market wider.

The MAF spokesman predicted the first imported rice will be distributed as early as the end of March. ``The customs-clearing process is needed for the launch of sale.’’
MGR Archive 15.2.2006
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