China to closely monitor rising global food prices: official

18:51, August 11, 2010      

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A senior official from China's Ministry of Agriculture said here Wednesday the country will continue to monitor the rise of food prices worldwide.

Niu Dun, vice minister at the ministry, said at the China-Africa Agriculture Cooperation Forum that food prices may rise on a worldwide basis.

Russia, one of the biggest wheat exporters, said last week it would ban grain exports from August 15 until December 31 because of devastating wildfires and drought in the country.

Niu said the move might drive up food prices across the globe.

Niu said the Chinese government will make every effort to ensure domestic food price stability.

This year's domestic agricultural production has been affected by natural disasters, such as low temperature, drought and floods, he said.

"Compared with last year, the production of early season rice fell but wheat production increased," he noted, adding that "agricultural production is balanced overall."

Niu said a good harvest of crops mainly depends on the autumn grain harvest, including second season rice and corn.

He said the ministry will take various measures to counteract the threat of dry and hot winds, drought, frost and pests.

If China can successfully guarantee its food production, it also guarantees global food security, he said.

He also said he is confident about corn production this year.

China's corn imports account for only four percent of total grain production, which is a very small part, he said.

Source: Xinhua


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