China / News from across China

Report forecasts first drop in wheat production for 12 years

By Xu Wei ( Updated: 2016-04-22 11:53

China's wheat production could decrease for the first time in 12 years in 2016, according to an official report released on Friday.

The country's wheat acreage is expected to reach 24.12 million hectares this year, down 20,000 year-on-year, with wheat production expected to reach 130.1 million metric tons, down 100,000 tons from last year, according to the China Agricultural Outlook 2016-25.

This would mark the first wheat production decrease the country has experienced since 2004.

The report, released by the Market Early Warning Expert Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture, said one reason for the reduction in wheat acreage was the government's efforts to prevent over-extraction of groundwater in North China.

The strongest El Nino in history will be another major factor, as the report expects the global weather pattern to take a toll on per unit area yield of rice, wheat and corn, said Tang Ke, head of the ministry's market and economic information department, at a news conference in Beijing on Friday.

The report said meteorological factors, as a result of El Nino, will exert a negative influence on the country's grain production.

Tang, who is also the deputy director general of the Market Early Warning Committee, said corn production is expected to decrease by 10 million metric tons, mainly as a result of government-led efforts to reduce acreage and reduce existing stockpiles.

The report estimated that the country's wheat consumption is expected to reach 120.27 million tons this year, up by 600,000 tons from last year.

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