Posted April. 12, 2005 23:23,
The government will adjust the market price of imported rice for meals to be similar to domestically grown rice, and start selling imported rice on the market around September
Also, it will double the obligated amount of imported rice by 2014 and allow the sales of imported and domestic rice together.
On April 12, the government announced that the WTO had officially endorsed an action plan revision including the above stipulations.
Imported Rice to be Sold Starting September-
Vice Minister Lee Myung-soo of Agriculture and Forestry said, If the action plan revision is ratified at the extraordinary session of the National Assembly in June, the government will import rice from the U.S., China, Australia, and Thailand, and start selling it on the market. The timing is highly likely to be September.
This means consumers will be able to buy imported rice directly at department stores, large retailers, and supermarkets. Until now, imported rice had been only used for snacks and other processed goods. This is the first time rice for meals will be sold to consumers directly.
The price of imported rice for meals will be set similarly to domestically-grown rice. The actual price of imported rice is 15-25 percent of domestic rice.
Thus, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation estimates that the domestic price of U.S. Japonica-type rice will be about 43,400 won for 20 kg. This price is higher than cheap domestic rice at 41,800 won, but lower than expensive rice at 53,700 won.
Obligatory Import of 5,100,000 Sacks of Rice In 2014-
According to the action plan revision, the Korean government is obligated to import four percent of its average domestic rice consumption or 225,575 tons (about 2,820,000 sacks) this year.
This amount will gradually increase every year to reach 408,700 tons (5,100,000 sacks) in 2014. This is because in return for delaying the opening of the rice market for 10 years, Korea agreed to increase rice imports.
The amount of imported rice for meals sold in the market must expand from 10 percent of the obligatory import volume (22,557 tons) in 2005 to 30 percent (98,193 tons) in 2010, and then maintain the 30 percent rate until 2014.