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China grain self-sufficiency falling -- official

11/25/2013 @ 7:30am

China's self-sufficiency in grains is likely to fall as the government allows a greater degree of imports to address rising consumption, a senior agriculture official said in remarks published Sunday.

Over the long term, China's self-sufficiency in grains could be maintained at 80% or more, said Han Jun, deputy director of the Development and Research Center of the State Council, the cabinet's think tank.

Rising demand for food "will be significantly higher than the increase in domestic production" over the next 25 years, Mr. Han said in remarks from a conference published on the center's website.

China has set a self-sufficiency target for grains at 95% over roughly two decades, but the goal has come under pressure from rising demand and faltering domestic grain yields.

While China would be able to mostly maintain self-sufficiency in rice and wheat, its corn output is likely to be able to account for only 92% of consumption by 2020 and 84% by 2035, Mr. Han said.

In a "normal" year, self-sufficiency in grains can be maintained at 90% or more but be allowed to fall to 85%-87% in "abnormal" years, he said.

Write to Chuin-Wei Yap at chuin-wei.yap@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 25, 2013 05:19 ET (10:19 GMT)
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