China to import more wheat
China's wheat imports are rising, and will likely grow 10% next year to 3 million metric tons, a senior official at an institute affiliated to the country's Ministry of Agriculture said Tuesday.
"The balance of demand and supply of wheat is tightening due to rising consumption and a decrease in acreage," Bi Jieying, assistant professor at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said on the sidelines of a grains conference.
The growth potential for the domestic wheat yield is limited and the amount of acreage available has declined steadily after peaking in the early 1990's, she said.
Wheat imports have more than doubled this year amid rising demand for animal feed, according to the institute. Demand for feed next year will likely total 12.4 million tons, up 6% from this year's forecast total.
Ms. Bi said the institute's forecasts are based on an analysis of past years' production and consumption trends.
China's wheat output is forecast at 118.3 million metric tons next year, little changed from the 118.1 million tons forecast for this year, she said. Consumption is expected to rise to 119.6 million tons in 2013 from 119.1 million tons in 2013, she said.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 26, 2012 22:23 ET (03:23 GMT)