5th Annual U.S.-Taiwan Rice Technical Meeting Goes Virtual

US and Taiwan flags fly on string in front of wooden board
Cooperation and collaboration are key
Aug 27, 2020
GLOBAL – Representatives of the U.S. and Taiwan rice industries plus the Agriculture and Food Agency (AFA) of Taiwan met using the Lifesize video conferencing platform last night for annual technical talks regarding rice trade between both countries.  
“This was our fifth annual meeting with the industry and government in Taiwan,” said Alex Balafoutis, executive vice president at Western Foods Co., LLC, and chair of the U.S. delegation.   “Taiwan has a history of cooperation and collaboration with our industry and we use these meetings to work through issues proactively concerning inspection, grading, and tendering in order to increase understanding on both sides and improve market efficiency with one of our most important customers.”

Topics for the meeting included an exchange of information on this year’s rice production and utilization in both countries; a review of Taiwan’s rice export promotion program; follow-up from the 2019 rice grading seminar held in Taipei; changes to Taiwan’s import specifications for glutinous rice moisture levels; and discussion of Taiwan’s maximum residue limits for crop protectants used on U.S. rice.  
Both sides agreed to meet again in 2021 in Taiwan, who would have hosted this year’s meeting had it not been for COVID-19-related travel restrictions.  
Taiwan began importing rice from the United States when the island joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007.  Taiwan currently has a country-specific import quota for U.S. rice of 64,634 MT, within an overall annual import quota from all WTO members of 144,720 MT.  Taiwan consumes medium grain rice, and purchases U.S.-grown rice from both the mid-South and California.
The U.S. exported 64,464 MT of rice to Taiwan in 2019, valued at approximately $39 million.