Drought won’t affect global wheat prices: China

PTI Beijing | Updated on February 15, 2011

A trader checking quality of wheat. File Photo - Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.   -  The Hindu

Ruling out any major impact on global wheat prices in the wake of drought hitting large parts of its wheat growing regions, China has said it will not resort to huge imports of grains as it has abundant food reserves to meet domestic demands.

Playing down the report by UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), warning that global wheat prices may surge due to prevailing drought in China, the world’s biggest producer of wheat, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said China is self-reliant on foodgrains due to abundant reserves.

“China is self-reliant in food grains. Even if the country has to resort to imports it will be less than five per cent”, he told a media briefing reacting to the FAO report.

He said the drought will not have major impact as China has bumper crops for the last seven years to help piling up the reserves.

The present winter drought in China’s wheat growing belt may have some impact on wheat production but authorities are taking active measures to minimise the impact, he said.

Chinese met officials have been trying hard to generate snow fall in the region by firing silver iodide material into the atmosphere to create artificial perception. As a result the region which remained without rain or snow for over 100 days witnessed two spells of snow.

Agriculture officials however said it was not enough to alleviate the drought conditions.

Published on February 15, 2011

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