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Feb 18, 2013 3:38 PM by AP News

SW La. could benefit from rice exports to China

WELSH, La. (AP) - Southwest Louisiana rice farmers could reap benefits from growing Chinese agriculture markets by exporting rice there.

State Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., discussed opening the rice market and other agriculture-related issues with nearly two dozen Southwest Louisiana farmers during a Farm Day breakfast and forum last week.

Boustany said China is currently a net importer of rice, much from Thailand and Vietnam. But he says rice production is those countries has been shaky so China is looking to the U.S.

Strain says the quality of U.S. rice also is better suited for the Chinese, especially the "upper class" who want better quality.

Boustany says trade opportunities other Asian countries also are worth pursuing.

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