OSAKA - Kubota Corp. said Friday it will start exporting rice to Singapore to follow up on the start of rice exports to Hong Kong last year.
The Osaka-based agricultural machinery maker will establish a wholly owned subsidiary in Singapore in August to kick off the new business in October.
While domestic rice consumption has been shrinking, Kubota aims to help develop overseas markets where Japanese cuisine is popular. Japanese cuisine is enjoying a boom in Singapore and rice consumption is on the rise as well.
Kubota expects combined rice exports to Hong Kong and Singapore to reach 1,230 tons in 2015. For the Singapore market, it plans to export brown rice produced mainly in Niigata and Yamagata and process it locally into white rice to prevent spoiling.
Its affiliate will handle the pickups to trim overall transport costs, allowing Kubota to sell it at around the same price as in Japan.
According to the Finance Ministry, Hong Kong was the biggest importer of Japanese rice last year, at 916 tons, followed by Singapore with 668 tons.