China imported more rice last year due to lower prices of imported rice and a rise in high-end demand, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said Thursday [29 January 2015]. Rice imports were very small compared with China’s domestic rice output, spokesman Shen Danyang told a press conference while responding to a report claiming that China’s rice import surged last year due to consumers’ safety concerns. China imported 2.58 million tonnes of rice in 2014, up 13.6 percent from a year earlier. The amount was only about 1.3 percent of China’s domestic rice production, Shen said, citing customs data…Full Article: China Daily Jan 2015

Key Point

  • According to the Ministry of Commerce official, wealthy Chinese importers (e.g. restaurants, high-end consumers) caused imports of Thai fragrant rice and Japanese rice to rise.

ChinaAg Comment

  • From 2010 to 2013, Chinese (i.e. mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau) rice imports grew from 685,371 MTs to 2.56 million MTs. In 2013, Vietnam was the top rice supplier (1.6 million MTs), followed by Thailand (455,053 MTs) and Pakistan (422,076 MTs). 2012 was a pivotal year in Chinese rice imports. It saw Pakistan emerging as a significant supplier. In addition, 2012 was the year Vietnam overtook Thailand as China’s top rice supplier.

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