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30,000 Tons of Rice Imported from the U.S. for the First Time Since Market Opening

30,000 Tons of Rice Imported from the U.S. for the First Time Since Market Opening

Posted February. 20, 2002 09:26,   


30,000 tons of rice produced in the U.S. was imported for the first time since Uruguay Round (UR) was concluded in 1993. But the government reportedly changed the bid condition favorable to the U.S. company. Korean Food And Drug Administration (KFDA) announced that it approved the import since the 30,000 tons of imported rice produced in the U.S. passed the tests of hazardous materials such as lead and cadmium."

Agricultural and Fishery Marketing Corporation (AFMC) imported the rice through international bid last year by the request of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

A related official of AFMC said, "the import process of the rice is completed since the FDA test passed the rice with no problem. Since the first rice import in 1995 by the government, the U.S. rice is imported for the first time."

AFMC is planning to use this rice for processed foods such as liquors, cookies, ramyun, because the domestic rice stock is enough.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry changed the bid condition for some portion of rice import to `U.S. No. 1` which is the best quality in the international market, to allow the import of the U.S. rice that could not be imported due to its relatively high price even though the quality is good enough. The government decided the bid criteria as `US No. 3` in 1995 and has imported the rice produced in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and India.

The government has increased the volumes of `minimum market access (MMA)` instead of delaying the overall opening of the rice market until 2004 when it signed in UR.

Consequently, the government has imported 57,000 tons of rice, 1 percent of the domestic average consumption in 1995, 100,000 tons in 1998, 142,520 tons of rice (2.5 percent) in 2001, and planning to import 3 percent of the average consumption this year and 4 percent in 2004.