China official says drought impact on grain limited, prices remain stable

14:57, March 06, 2011      

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Drought in China's major winter wheat producing areas has limited impact on grain output and prices are expected to remain stable, a senior agriculture official said Sunday.

The drought has affected limited areas for crop production in China, Chen Xiwen, director of the office for the Communist Party of China Central Committee's Leading Group on Rural Work, told a press conference in Beijing.

The affected areas for winter wheat is less than one-third of the total areas of such crop, Chen said, adding the average output of winter wheat only accounts for 22 percent of China's total grain output.

Snow and rain in late February and early March, as well as irrigation facilities, have also helped ease the drought. "With concerted efforts, the impact can be allayed or even eliminated", he said.

Grain prices in China rose by less than 20 percent year on year since the start of 2011, compared with 100 percent surge in global grain prices during the same period, he said.

Chen said he was sure that China's grain prices would keep stable through government measures.

Source: Xinhua
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