The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) warned Friday the
lingering drought will damage the year's summer crop output, but analysts say
the country's grain crop prices won't be much affected.
Nearly 15 million hectares of
arable land have been affected by the drought triggered by high temperatures and
strong winds, latest figures from the State Flood Control and Draught Relief
A woman works tries to protect the crop seedlings in her
field in Yuncheng, north China's Shanxi Province Tuesday. The Ministry of
Agriculture (MOA) warned Friday the lingering drought will damage the
year's summer crop output, but analysts say the country's grain crop
prices won't be much affected. [Xinhua]
Drought has affected some part of China every day since the beginning of the
year. Under the impact of global warming, the situation is likely to further
deteriorate in the foreseeable future.
Currently, 25 percent more Chinese land is affected by drought than the
average in previous years.
"Summer crops are in a crunch situation. If the drought continues in wheat
producing areas, China will be unable to reach its summer crop targets," said a
A preliminary survey by the Wheat Chapter of the China National Association
of Grain Crops in worst-stricken Hebei Province projects lower wheat output, the
staple of summer crops.
"The decline will not seriously affect the year's grain reserve and supply.
But the official forecast has not yet been released," an agency spokeswoman told
Xinhua by phone, adding that similar surveys are under way in other drought-hit
The drought started in northern China in late April and spread to Shanxi,
Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Xinjiang, Gansu, Hubei, Henan, Liaoning,Chongqing,
Sichuan and Yunnan.
China's wheat output is expected to go down by 2.53 percent year-on-year to
101.8 million tons even if the weather turns favorable, said the China National
Grain and Oils Information Center in its monthly update in May.
There will be no rainfall in the next three days in northern China and the
Huanghe and Huaihe River Valleys where drought has wrought havoc, according to a
Friday forecast by the China Meteorological Administration.
Given the government's massive grain crop reserve, analysts said the drop
won't result in a grain shortfall or drastic price hikes.
Summer crops normally make up 20 percent of China's annual grain output which
has grown for three straight years since 2003 to 497.46 million tons last year,
up 2.8 percent or 13.44 million tons from 2005.
With the harvesting of summer crops only a month away, the Ministry of
Agriculture has urged governments in drought-stricken areas to mobilize local
farmers to fight against the extreme weather which has left nine million people
and 7 million livestock short of drinking water.
More than 1.2 million farmers in Henan were mobilized on a daily basis in the
first half of May, using 276,000 electrical pumps to irrigate land.
The Hebei provincial government has started to ration
its underground water supply to meet production and domestic demand.