The Port of Oakland expects to see an increase in rice exports following the signing of a recent trade pact between the US and China.
American rice exports could enter China as soon as 2018 according to the port authority, although it does not yet have an estimate on how much business will increase.
It claims that volumes should rise due to California’s Sacramento valley being one of the largest rice producing regions in the US.
Additionally, Oakland already ships two thirds of all US containerised rice exports while it offers the fastest, most direct route from the US to China, it said in a statement.
The port’s maritime director, John Driscoll, said: “We’re glad a rice agreement has been reached because there’s strong demand for high-quality U.S. food products in China.
The trade deal comes as the US dollar is softening against foreign currencies, making American products more afforable overseas.
The US West Coast port also expects meat exports to rise next year and it plans to open a 300,000 sq ft refrigerated distribution centre next summer for chilled and frozen beef, pork and poultry.
That plant will prepare up to 37,000 20-foot containers of product for export annually.