China likely to import more food grains as output declines

Grain planting area in China has contracted by about 3.15 lakh hectares.

The Dollar Business Bureau

China is expected to import more grains as compared to last year after the country’s production this year dropped by around 5.2 million tonnes and the planting area dipped and the yield per unit edged down, as per official data.

In 2016, China’s total grain output stood at around 616 million tonnes, dropped by around 5.2 million tonnes (about 0.8%), compared with the previous year, according to the data released by the China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The area under grain planting in the country has contracted by about 3.15 lakh hectares, whereas the yield per unit declined by 30.7 kg per hectare, it said.

Going through the unbalanced demand and supply among varieties of grain, several areas have cut the planting of corn in favour of soy planting and used the grain for oil and feedstuff, said Huang Bingxin, a senior statistician with NBS.

The decline in the planting area has affected the high yielding grain due to severe weather in the country such as heavy rains and drought that also dented grain productivity, Huang told the Xinhua news agency on Thursday.

As the country resorted to massive urbanisation by converting the huge agrarian lands into urban settlements, the agricultural output of China has slowed down over the years with the nation resorting to huge imports of grain in the last few years not matching with population growth which is more than 1.3 billion.

Last year, production of grain in the country was over 621 million tonnes, more than the production in 2014, which was 607 million tonnes.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Dec 08, 2016 12:00 IST