China to import grain to meet domestic needs: Standard Chartered

08:55, January 07, 2011      

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China will have to import grain to meet its domestic needs in the near future, which will mark the end of the country's self-sufficient policy on grain products, Caijing.com.cn reported Wednesday, citing a Standard Chartered report.

Standard Chartered said that there are concerns about China's grain output because of the slow development of cultivated land due to fast process of urbanization, the aging tendency of rural labor force and water scarcity. Though the transgenic technology will help China's productivity, the country will still have to import grain.

China's most severe grain shortage will involve corn, which the country will have to import from Brazil, Argentina and the US.

Statistics from the General Administration of Customs show that, from January to July last year, China imported 38.47 million tons of grains, up 20.5 percent year-on-year. The quantity of corn imported was 56 times the amount of the same period in 2009. The National Grain and Oils Information Center also said that China produced 14.5 million tons of soybeans in 2010, but imported 47.5 million tons from abroad.

Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the central government has adopted a new understanding of food security compared with the previous "self-sufficient strategy". China will gain supplies from both domestic and international markets, changing the current passive grain product import to fulfill shortages to active import to improve diversities of supplies. And the country will ensure its general self-sufficiency in cotton, sugar and vegetables - and a more than 40 percent self-sufficiency rate in vegetable oil.

Source: Global Times
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