Total rice imports by country cost China a total US$2.2 billion via international purchases from 15 rice-supplying trade partners during 2021. That dollar amount reflects China’s 19.7% increase from $1.8 billion during 2017, and a 49.9% acceleration from $1.46 billion in 2020.
Most of China’s rice imports originate from fellow Asian countries. Notable exceptions among these suppliers are strategically located Russia and the United States of America and Italy.
Top Providers of Chinese Imported Rice
Below are the countries that supplied 100% of the rice imported by China during 2021.
- Vietnam: US$535.7 million (24.5% of China’s total rice imports)
- Pakistan: $399 million (18.2%)
- India: $372.6 million (17%)
- Thailand: $340.2 million (15.6%)
- Myanmar: $297.6 million (13.6%)
- Cambodia: $192.4 million (8.8%)
- Taiwan: $31.5 million (1.44%)
- Laos: $16.2 million (0.74%)
- Japan: $2.2 million (0.1%)
- Italy: $91,000 (0.004%)
- Russia: $30,000 (0.001%)
- South Korea: $16,000 (0.0007%)
- United States: $11,000 (0.0005%)
Three of mainland China’s leading rice suppliers (Vietnam, Pakistan and India), accounted for about three-fifths (59.8%) the overall spending on China’s imported rice for 2021.
The top 5 rice providers supplied 88.9% of Chinese imports of the staple grain.
Those percentages illustrate China’s highly concentrated cohort of rice suppliers.
Fastest-Growing Suppliers of China’s Rice Imports Versus Decliners
Chinese purchases of rice from one of its smaller suppliers, the United States of America, dropped by -64.5% compared to 2020, dragging down the overall average 49.9% gain which encompasses statistics for all of China’s rice suppliers.
- India: Up 25,296% since 2020)
- Italy: Up 9,000%
- Pakistan: Up 113.2%
- Thailand: Up 40.4%
- Cambodia: Up 21.4%
- Vietnam: Up 18.5%
- Myanmar: Down -8.1%
- Taiwan: Down -18.1%
- Japan: Down -23.7%
- Russia: Down -55.2%
- South Korea: Down -61.9%
- United States: Down -64.5%
- Laos: Down -69%
India and Italy reaped the strongest expansions in their annual rice sales to the People’s Republic from 2020 to 2021.
In contrast, the severest year-over-year reductions were experienced by rice suppliers in Laos, America, and South Korea.
See also Rice Exports by Country, Rice Imports by Country, China’s Top 10 Exports and China’s Top Trading Partners
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on August 12, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 12, 2022
Wikipedia, Rice. Accessed on August 12, 2022