China ready to import more grain

15 September 1999

China ready to import more grain

CHINA is likely to increase grain import because of farm reforms which will move it away from a long-held policy of self-sufficiency, says a government economist.

Self-sufficiency has carried an excessive financial and environmental cost, said Ma Xiahoe, vice director-general of the state development planning commission.

He is predicting domestic production to fall to 95% of the demand over the next 10 years and 90% by 2030.

That would mean grain imports rising to 33m tonnes by 2010 and 63m tonnes by 2030.

China has fulfilled almost 99% of its grain needs from its own production over the last two decades.

Western critics of Chinas self-sufficiency policy said it led to stockpiling, corruption and domestic prices higher than the international level.

  • Financial Times 15/09/99 page 1

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