Disastrous weather took away about one-fifth of the harvest, plus there is the cost of chemical fertilizers, pesticide and an increase in artificial work.

”I didn’t sell, for the price cannot recover the cost that time, now the price falls after a rise, I am even more reluctant to sell,” said Zhao, a villager of Xinfu, in Jilin Province’s Fuyu county. “Affected by the floods and wind, corn production decreased this year.”

Zhao sold his own corn at a price of 1.06 yuan per pound last year, but even at 1.2 yuan, he is unwilling to sell.

”Corn prices only rose slightly. It has risen to 1.2 yuan a pound and dropped to 1.1 yuan recently,” said Zhao.

With the U.S. Department of Agriculture releasing June reports showing lower yields in the United States, the world’s main producer of corn and soybeans, international grain prices have been rising continuously.

Affected by this, China’s grain imports have been rising since August. On Nov. 10, the State General Administration of Customs released data showing that China’s soybean imports were 4.03 million tons in October 2012, increasing 220,000 tons and 5.77% compared to the same period of last year. Total imports were 48,340,000 tons from January to October, increasing 16.6% year-on-year. In October, China’s imports of edible vegetable oil were 900,000 tons, increasing 390,000 tons and 76.47% compared with the same period last year. Total imports were 6,410,000 tons from January to October, increasing 24.2% year on year.

Compared with soybean and vegetable oil, grain imports in October grew rapidly. Data shows the imports of grain and flour were 1,120,000 tons, increasing 560,000 tons and 100% year-on-year. Total imports were 12,550,000 tons from January to October, increasing by 212.7% year-on-year.

Li Guoxiang, a researcher in the Rural Development Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that in recent months China’s grain import growth and upward trend of international grain has been consistent. It’s necessary to strengthen the construction of agricultural information integration system and make both buying and selling more sustainable.

Source: Morning Whistle Nov 2012

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