SHANGHAI – Earlier this week, USA Rice hosted the second in a series of webinars on trade and international markets, this time focusing on China. Despite the 10 p.m. east coast start time, it was mid-morning in China and 176 people registered for the webinar. Additionally, USA Rice staff in Shanghai engaged with approximately 50 of the Chinese participants on WeChat, a Chinese instant messaging app.
The webinar featured presentations by USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward; Ted McKinney, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs; agricultural extension representatives from Arkansas and California; and Nathan Childs, with USDA’s Economic Research Service, who gave a global view on the 2020/2021 rice market.
Staff from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) also participated as well as U.S. Agricultural Counselor Bobby Richey, from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Richey discussed the implementation of 50 of the 57 agricultural technical commitments under the U.S.-China Phase One Agreement with soybeans, corn, wheat, beef, pork, and poultry being purchased by China every day, noting that he hoped to soon count rice in this list as well.
Presenters fielded questions on future U.S. rice shipments to China, whether U.S. rice will be available for purchase on e-commerce platforms, if there is a quota for U.S. rice, specific requirements for imports in China, does the U.S. farm crawfish, can wild rice be imported into China, and many others.
Chris Crutchfield, chair of the USA Rice Asia, Turkey Promotion Subcommittee concluded the webinar, saying, “I was impressed with the number of participants, the breadth of information provided, and the quality of the questions posed. We believe it will bear fruit in the form of regular U.S. rice exports to China in the near future.”
That sentiment was echoed by an importer who sent a message at the close of the webinar that read, “Thanks to our friends on the USA side to give us such useful information. Hope we can enjoy the U.S. rice in Chinese market soon.”
All resources including a recording of the webinar and copies of all presentations will be available this Friday, October 30, on the USA Rice website.
Registration is open for the third webinar in the series on the UK & EU