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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Imports of US soybeans set for expansion (2)

By Zhou Siyu (China Daily)

13:40, March 21, 2012

In the central farm state of Iowa, China's demand has played an important role in expanding the value of the state's exports by 10 percent in recent years.

These exports account for one-fifth of the jobs in agriculture, food processing and advanced manufacturing, said Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds.

Reynolds added that Chinese companies are seeking investment opportunities and avenues for cooperation with companies in Iowa in sectors such as biotechnology and equipment manufacturing.

However, China's increasing food imports have prompted concern about excessive reliance on global markets.

"China should continue diversifying its sources of food imports to avoid over-reliance" on any country, said Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Ltd.

The government should encourage Chinese food companies to invest overseas to secure food supplies, he added.

Chinese policymakers have long contended that for the sake of food security, 90 percent of the grain used by the nation should be produced domestically.

In 2011, China imported 10.7 percent of its grain, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

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