U.S.-Korea Rice Quota Agreement Fulfilled Overnight

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Dec 17, 2020
SEOUL, KOREA – Last night, following a year full of obstacles to overcome, the U.S. and Korea finally fulfilled contracting requirements for the U.S. country-specific quota (CSQ) agreement.  The CSQ agreement called for 132,304 MT milled basis, of annual U.S. rice purchases as part of Korea’s World Trade Organization commitments.

The tenders were scheduled at regular intervals throughout the year to help stagger shipping periods to Korea, although prior to the CSQ being signed, the tenders were all typically concentrated at the end of the year.  This improved certainty of tonnage, and spacing allows for more predictability and improved logistical flow to U.S. customers in Korea.

The total value of the 2020 CSQ sales exceeded $130 million, surpassing the $110 million the U.S. government initially estimated as the agreement’s annual return.

“We are glad to get the first year of the new CSQ agreement behind us,” said Michael Rue, California rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice Asia Trade Policy Subcommittee.  “While everything may not have gone exactly as we might have imagined considering the challenges caused by the pandemic, we are pleased that our counterparts in Korea were fair and reasonable and, all-in-all, delivered on the terms of the agreement.”

Between both market value and tonnage, Korea is consistently a top ten market for U.S. rice exports.
“We look forward to maintaining an open dialogue with Korea to keep the momentum going,” said Rue.  “We were glad to be able to hold virtual discussions earlier this fall but look forward to meeting face-to-face sometime in 2021.”