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China's grain market remains stable

Updated: 2012-08-23 14:07
( Xinhua)

NANCHANG - China's domestic grain market has remained robust despite a drop in global yields due to lingering drought in some major grain exporters such as the United States and Russia.

This summer, China has seen a bumper harvest in wheat and rice, marking year-on-year increases of 8.4 million tons and 9 million tons, respectively, in the country's summer grain purchasing, according to Nie Zhenbang, former head of China's State Administration of Grain.

"Sufficient stockpiles and bumper harvests of wheat, corn and rice enabled China to maintain the stability of its domestic grain market," Nie said.

The total grain output in the first half of 2012 reached 129.95 million tons, marking a 2.8 percent jump year-on-year, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The NBS said grain prices in July were up 3 percent year-on-year and 0.2 percent month-on-month.

Experts expect China's grain prices to remain stable during the fourth quarter despite price hikes in some other countries.

The worst drought this summer in half a century has gripped the Untied States, the world's largest grain producer and exporter.

Corn and soybean prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) have soared by almost 50 percent and 30 percent, respectively, since late May.

The Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Food Price Index, a measure of monthly changes in the average international prices of a basket of 55 food commodities, soared 6.2 percent in July, the highest increase since November 2009, according to a statement released by the FAO earlier this month.

Experts said China has been maintaining a self-sufficient grain strategy and over 95 percent of rice and wheat has been produced domestically during recent years, which has helped the country resist the influence of global fluctuations.

China embraced an eighth consecutive year of grain production growth last year under the central government's policies to mobilize farmers' initiative to farm, such as raising the minimum purchasing price several times.

The country is anticipating a ninth consecutive year of growth this year with grain production standing at 571.2 billion kg in 2011. And the government has been attaching increasing importance to innovations in agricultural technology.

"China has shown its sense of duty by feeding 22 percent of the world's population with no more than 10 percent of the world's farmland," said Yin Xiaojian, an agriculture expert from the Academy of Social Sciences of Jiangxi province.

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