Chinese grain not affected by disasters
The devastating floods and drought will not affect China's grain output.
Officials and experts said grain production is expected to remain stable in the
coming years, which means the country doesn't have to import more.
Despite the drought and heavy rains that have hit many
provinces this year, autumn grain output is expected to more or less meet the
target, said Hu Biliang, a researcher with the Rural Development Institute of
the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In fact, summer grain output rose for
the fourth consecutive year to reach 115.34 million tons, according to official
China's grain imports have been
exceeding its exports since 2003, raising concerns that it could destabilize
global grain prices. Ministry of Agriculture's senior official Hu Yuankun said
last week that China will depend mainly on domestic supply to meet its demand.
It will make "proper" use of the international market to meet the domestic
demand for processing and other industrial uses, he said at a
State Grain Administration official Lu Jingbo, too, said China has
ample stock of grain, and that supply and demand has become relatively balanced.
Last year, China's grain output reached 497.45 million tons, while its demand
was estimated at 507.5 million tons, a gap of 10 million tons, or just 2% of its
The central government has
granted more subsidies to farmers within the framework of the World Trade
Organization. This, coupled with the rising grain prices, has encouraged farmers
to raise their yield, Hu said. In the coming years, China will face additional
pressure because the area of its cultivable land is shrinking as a result of
urbanization, Hu said. Another challenge is that the output capacity of more
than 60% of China's farmland is diminishing.
Director of Chinese Academy of Sciences' Center for Chinese
Agricultural Policy Huang Jikun said China has improved its technical expertise
to raise its per unit production to make up for the loss. "That will ensure that
China's grain imports and exports remain roughly balanced in the coming years,"
he said. By 2015, China has to import corns to meet 15% of its demand, Huang
said. But the exports of rice and wheat will increase by that time to balance
the country's overall grain trade.
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