20 May 1999
China to pay less for poor grain

THE Chinese government is introducing a policy switch which will mean the state will reduce the price and volumes of purchases of poor quality grains.

The government is also planning to phase out so-called “protected prices” for sub-standard grain next year.

This arrangement has encouraged farmers to produce poor-quality grains, which deliver large volumes but do not meet market needs.

Grains affected include spring wheat in north-east China, early rice in the south and wheat south of the Yangtze River.

China has also reported that its crop-growing area has expanded by 0.6% to 156m hectares (385m acres) this year.

The growing area for edible oils and vegetables increased, while the area for cotton, sugar and tobacco decreased.

The State Information Centre said Chinas grain output for this year was expected to be 495m tonnes.

  • Financial Times 20/05/99 page 46