November 14, 2011
China faces difficulty in resolving grain issue
China is confronted with difficulties in solving its "grain question," or its ability to feed itself, and must persist with the self-sufficiency policy in grain supply, said Du Ying, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Du Ying's comments are a signal that despite rising pressures for grain imports - corn, in particular - Beijing does not plan to relent on maintaining the world's largest grain reserves.
Global grain stocks have fallen to 70 days' worth, Du said, citing the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
A rising population, shrinking land and changing lifestyles will cause China's grain market balance to remain tight, he said in a webcast of a State Council Information Office briefing.
At the briefing, Henan Province Governor Guo Gengmao said the province's grain output this year will likely reach 55 million tonnes, or 10% of national output.
This means China is likely to announce a 550-million-tonne harvest this year, a fresh record. While government officials have hinted at the figure, Guo's comment provided further confirmation that the government may announce the figure for the full year in coming months.
Henan is China's top grain producer.