China increased its grain imports this year, but thanks to consecutive years of bumper crops the country will continue to be able to largely feed itself, a senior agricultural official said.
China's imports of its three main food staples — rice, wheat and corn — reached 10.09 million metric tons in the first 10 months of this year, an increase of 9.29 million tons compared with the same period last year, said Bi Meijia, chief economist of the Ministry of Agriculture. The total imports of the three main grain crops were 3.57 million tons in 2011.
The strong surge in imports of the three staple crops has triggered widespread concern about the country's long-asserted goal of maintaining its food security by domestically supplying at least 95 percent of the grains that it consumes.But both government authorities and analysts said there is no shortage of grain in China.
"The total import volume of rice, wheat and corn now accounts only for about 2 percent of the country's production output. China will surely continue to be largely self-sufficient in grain production," Bi said.
Also, the import volume of soybeans from this January to October was 48.34 million tons in China, a 16.6 percent year-on-year increase during the first 10 months of this year, Customs statistics showed.The total import of soybeans is expected to reach more than 60 million tons in 2012 because of favorable prices in the international market, Bi said.But China will certainly satisfy more than 40 percent of its demand for oil crops by itself, he said.
China recorded a grain output of more than 589 million tons in 2012. It was the ninth consecutive year of increased grain harvests, according to the ministry.
Wednesday December 26, 2012/ Ministry of Agriculture/ China.