China’s anticipated bumper harvest of summer grain will ensure food security amid tight global supplies

CHINA—China’s anticipated bumper harvest of summer grain will consolidate the country’s capacity to ensure grain security amid tight global supplies owing largely to record hot weather and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

China has set a goal of 650 billion kilograms for total grain output in 2022. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MOA), about 80 percent of the grain in Southwest China has been harvested.

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Harvesting in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River has started and the grain in Huang-Huai-Hai region, which accounts for three-quarters of the national summer grain output, is about to mature as well.

Zhu Enlin, deputy head of the MOA’s Department of Crop Production said that effective policy support has managed to circumvent challenges from COVID-19 and the delayed planting of winter wheat in multiple places, hence the bumper harvest of summer grain.

Due to higher costs for fertilizers, machinery and labor, the market purchase price of wheat has increased to around US$0.42 per kilogram and in some areas, it has even soared to US$0.48 per kilogram.

Considering the trend of agricultural material prices and the situation of agricultural production, the central government will grant subsidies worth US$1.5 billion to farmers engaged in grain cultivation in order to support summer harvests and autumn plowing, the Ministry of Finance said on Sunday.

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Additionally, the central government has allocated over US$900 million to summer grain production this year and US$120 million of special funding to increase and support green production of grain.

The joint effects of the prolonged global pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and extreme hot weather in some countries, including India and France has created a global grain supply crunch.

As a result, China will likely cut imports this year, said Li Guoxiang, a research fellow at the Rural Development Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The country imported 164.54 million tonnes of grain in 2021 and according to data from the General Administration of Customs, China’s imports of wheat dropped 22.4 percent year-on-year in April to 700,000 tons.

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