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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First auction of Chinese rice imports
The first auction of Chinese rice imports for direct sale to consumers could take place as soon as this week, the Agriculture Ministry said.

This will be the second shipment of foreign rice to be auctioned for direct consumption since 1,372 tons of Calrose rice was imported from the United States in March. It marked the first shipment of the 22,557 tons Korea is obliged to import as of last year from the United States, China, Thailand and Australia under agreements made with the World Trade Organization in 2004.

The current volume represents 10 percent of the total Seoul agreed to import from nine rice-exporting countries. Previous imports of rice could only be used in processed foods.

The Agriculture Ministry on Sunday said that 2,100 tons of first-grade and 1,052 tons of third-grade rice had already arrived via Busan Port. The ministry said the opening of the auction will depend on how soon the grain passes through customs procedures.

The country's agricultural sector is suffering from a decline in rice consumption. With an already abundant supply of indigenous rice, farmers are against market opening because of fears the foreign rice will only disrupt the industry by further lowering prices and increasing the surplus.

Foreign rice faces the added challenge of winning the hearts of Korean consumers, who generally believe homegrown rice tastes better and is of better quality.

The government estimates that Koreans pay four times the international average for their staple grain.

Despite the higher cost of indigenous grain, the debut of Calrose drew an unfavorable and unsympathetic response, pushing the government to consider raising the number of auctions to twice a week from one. The government says plans are under way to reduce the minimum price at an opportune time.

Of the 22,557 tons earmarked for import from abroad, Chinese rice will account for 12,767 tons, followed by 5,504 tons from the United States, 3,293 tons from Thailand, and 993 tons from Australia.

Calrose rice went through four rounds of public bids every Wednesday since April 5. The average knock down rate was 2.9 percent in the first round, 22.7 percent in the second, 10.5 percent in the third and 0 percent in the fourth. The government attributed the poor response to a widespread rumor that the taste of Calrose rice is inferior to homegrown rice.

But some experts stress market opening will benefit the local farming industry by raising its competitiveness.

Industry observers noted that the price of a 20-kilogram sack of indigenous rice averaged 42,284 won in the beginning of April but then dropped to 41,276 won by April 12 soon after the debut of Calrose. But since its unfavorable reception, the price has made a strong rebound by climbing to 42,316 won.
MGR Archive 2.5.2006
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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