December 16, 2011


China has room for grain output expansion


China still has room to boost grain production in the coming years by improving technology and other measures, a senior agricultural official said Thursday (Dec 15).


China's grain output in 2011 increased 4.5% from a year earlier to a record high of 571.21 million tonnes, the eighth consecutive annual increase, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.


"There is still a big potential to increase output further," Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said, adding that China's unit yield of grain could rise by an average of more than 1% per mu a year through 2020, while acreage will stabilise.


"China is fully confident and is able to rely on domestic supplies to safeguard its grain safety for a long time to come," Han said, adding that there is limited room for the country to rely on the international market to adjust surpluses and shortfalls.


Global annual gain trade is about 250 million tonnes, less than half of China's yearly output.


He said grain supplies helped to bring down local inflation in recent months, laying an important foundation for managing inflation expectations and curbing price rises.


China's annual inflation in November tumbled to 4.2%, the lowest in more than a year, and down from a three-year high of 6.5% in July.


A slowing food price increase led to reduced inflationary pressure. Food prices rose 8.8% in the reporting month, slowing to a single-digit increase for the first time in 11 months.

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