China’s Rice Imports by Country

Rice out of the bag (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Rice out of the bag

Considering the 1.4 billion mouths to feed in China, it should come as no surprise that the People’s Republic is the world’s number 1 importer of rice.

Rice imports by country cost China a total US$1.8 billion in purchases from 14 rice-supplying trade partners in 2017. That dollar amount represents a 73.8% increase since 2013 and a 15.2% year-over-year uptick from 2016 to 2017.

The vast majority of China’s rice imports originate from fellow Asian countries. The notable exceptions among these suppliers is Russia and much tinier amounts from the United States, Canada and Italy.

Top Providers of Chinese Imported Rice

Below are the 14 countries that supplied 100% of the rice imported into China during 2017:

  1. Vietnam: US$1.02 billion (55.9% of China’s total rice imports)
  2. Thailand: $544.1 million (29.8%)
  3. Cambodia: $101.1 million (5.5%)
  4. Pakistan: $93.6 million (5.1%)
  5. Laos: $32.8 million (1.8%)
  6. Myanmar (Burma): $31.8 million (1.7%)
  7. Japan: $1.1 million (0.06%)
  8. Russia: $962,000 (0.05%)
  9. Taiwan: $314,000 (0.02%)
  10. South Korea: $208,000 (0.01%)
  11. India: $10,000 (0.001%)
  12. United States: $9,000 (0.0005%)
  13. Canada: $2,000 (0.0001%)
  14. Italy: $2,000 (0.0001%)

Two of China’s leading rice suppliers, Vietnam and Thailand, account for 85.7% of overall Chinese imported rice for 2017.

The top 5 rice providers represent 98.1% of Chinese rice imports.

Fastest-Growing Suppliers of China’s Rice Imports

Chinese purchases of rice from its largest supplier Vietnam increased by roughly two-thirds (65.8%) over the 5-year period starting in 2013, below the overall average 73.8% which encompasses all of China’s rice suppliers.

  1. Russia: Up 1,947% since 2013
  2. Myanmar (Burma): Up 1,402%
  3. Laos: Up 470.4%
  4. Japan: Up 435.2%
  5. Cambodia: Up 431.3%
  6. Thailand: Up 131.5%
  7. Italy: Up 100%
  8. Vietnam: Up 65.8%
  9. India: Down -9.1%
  10. Pakistan: Down -45.7%
  11. Taiwan: Down -72.3%
  12. Canada: Down -95%
  13. South Korea: Up from nil
  14. United States: Up from nil


 
Half of China’s rice suppliers posted at least triple-digit gains over the 5-year timeframe ending in 2017, ranging from a 100% gain for Italy up to the leading 1,947% increase for rice exporters in Russia.

Canada experienced the most severe cutback in rice provide to China since 2013, down by -95% albeit involving miniscule amounts. The Chinese province of Taiwan also experienced a drastic reduction in its rice sales to mainland China, down by almost three-quarters at -72.3%. Another supplier with dwindling rice shipments to China was Pakistan via its -45.7% setback.

See also Rice Exports by Country, Rice Imports by Country and China’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 25, 2018

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on April 25, 2018

Wikipedia, Rice. Accessed on April 25, 2018