August 23, 2013
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that China is going to surpass Nigeria to become the world's largest rice importer this year.
China imported 2.9 million tonnes of rice in 2012, and is expected to purchase 3 million tonnes from overseas markets in 2013, overtaking Nigeria's imports of 2.4 million tonnes.
According to the data from China's General Administration of Customs, rice imports reached 1.46 million tonnes from January to July this year, rose by 4% on-year.
Historically, China has been the largest producer and consumer of rice in the world. However, as Beijing's subsidies for the grain led to high prices, Chinese mills have turned to cheap overseas rice. China has become a net importer in the last three years, and has bought large volume of supplies from countries including Vietnam, Pakistan and Myanmar.