Greg Yielding, head of emerging markets for the U.S. Rice Producers Assn travelled to china to see whether the Chinese know the taste of US rice
Explaining his experience their he said that “At first they’d say, ‘There’s rice in the U.S.?” said Yielding, head of emerging markets for the U.S. Rice Producers Assn., a Houston-based trade group. “And we’d have to show them a map to explain that it’s grown in California and the South. Then they’d try it, and they would really like it.”
The Chinese importers,grocery chains,retail chains, distributor of rice lined up and said that it is impossible to sell US rice to China but before eight years not a single shipment of american rice was made to China.
The trade between the two countries is not possible unless and until they both agree on a so called phytosanitary protocol.Under the protocol the necessary steps U.S. rice exporters must take to reduce pests such as insects determines.
The disagreement highlights the growing pressure on U.S. agricultural producers to either accommodate China or risk being shut out of the world’s largest emerging consumer market.
It may not be a matter of concern a decade ago when the U.S. farmers could depend on domestic buyers or traditional foreign markets such as Mexico and Canada but today when the China is shaving as a emerging food leader it may let the US to think once again.
Those countries that are with the China are complying gain.American agricultural exports to China rose to a record $25.8 billion last year from $5 billion a decade earlier.
The Chinese trade want the US rice industry to reconsider the phytosanitary protocol but the USA Rice Federation, a trade association in Washington, D.C.,mainly comprising millers, called the Chinese demands “unrealistic and onerous.”
Tim Johnson, president and chief executive of the California Rice Commission, called it “the ultimate example of selling ice to the Eskimos.”
In addition to China, the European Union and Russia also ban the presences of additive in the crop as its presence lead to cardiovascular problems.
As the demand for the Chinese food product is globally, so it is quite obvious that the China may be choosy in supplying its product said Jim Harkness, a senior advisor on China for the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis.
The US produces only 2% of the world’s rice accounts for nearly 10% of the rice traded globally — enough to make it the fifth-biggest exporter. About half the rice grown in the U.S. ends up abroad. Still, rice consumption in China is so high the country could eat through America’s annual production in 17 days.