November 16, 2015


China's cereal and oilseed imports expected to rise towards 2020



China's 13th five-year plan for 2016-2020 anticipates a rise of cereal and oilseed imports into the mainland, in favour over raising local productions, according to an article by Spain's ministry of agriculture.


The trend marks a notable change in the Chinese agricultural policy which, until now, emphasised adequate self-supply as a motive for higher domestic production for the last 11 years. It also means that the global supply of cereals and oilseeds, such as corn and soybeans, will be affected and may effect rising prices.


Even then, the country continues to harbour the hope of self-sufficiency in cereals for human consumption while reserving grain imports for animal feeding.


Imports are set to escalate as cereal and oilseed demand in China is expected to swell to 700 million tonnes in 2020, from 600 million tonnes in 2014, with population growth and rapid urbanisation as the key drivers. In fact, previous years had witnessed a strong increase in cereal imports, from 3.2 million tonnes in 2009 to 19.5 million tonnes last year.


Oilseed imports, specifically soybean, have rose from 42.6 million tonnes in 2009 to 71.4 million tonnes in 2014.


China has, in January to September 2015, imported 13% more oilseeds than the same period in 2014, at a volume of 52.8 million tonnes.


In addition, there will be a difference of 100 million tonnes between local demand and production, a gap that would be filled with imports.

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