Does grain stockpiling boost China's national security? : report
The Chinese government is under growing pressure to review its longstanding policy of stockpiling grain in light of grain prices staying way above international levels, Want China Times reports.
Han Jun, deputy director of the office for the central leadership panel for finance and economics, revealed that after-tax (50% duty) CIF prices for imported grain in China are much lower than for domestic grain: 0.5 yuan (US$0.08) cheaper per jin (0.5 kilogram) for corn, 0.35 yuan (US$0.05) per jin for wheat, and 0.5 yuan per jin for rice.
Sohu.com attributes the low price of imported grain to modern agricultural technology increasing output and large-scale mechanised farming reducing costs. For example, in the United States, a farmer can cultivate several thousand acres using machinery, even including aircraft. In China, by contrast, farming is still mostly carried out backyard by the elderly without little agricultural know-how.
Sohu.com also attacked the food security argument behind the existing policy, citing China's dependance on imports for 60% of its oil needs which it believes has in fact seriously threatened national security.