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China to transport grain from northeast to south to stabilize prices
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16:54, April 28, 2008

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China will accelerate shipment of grain from the grain-rich northeast to the country's south to ease supply imbalances and stem price rises, the Ministry of Railways (MOR) said.

The ministry has ordered railway authorities in the northeast provinces to improve efficiency and send 10 million tonnes of grains out of the northeast to the south from May 1 to June 30.

MOR will coordinate with departments concerned to prioritize grain shipment, said Liu Zhijun, the minister of railways.

The northeast of China, namely the Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces, has 16 percent of the country's arable land and contributes 16.6 percent of the national grain output, or 83.1billion kilogrammes annually.

Transportation bottleneck restrained the transport of local quality rice to the south, where short supply has pushed up prices.

Rice prices had begun to drop remarkably in the northeast since last fall, said Li Binglong, professor with the China Agriculture University.

The State Administration of Grains (SAG) predicted that price stability can be ensured thanks to abundant grain reserves.


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