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Reference Date: 12-June-2014


  1. The 2014 wheat production is estimated at record levels

  2. Favourable prospects for the 2014 rice and maize crops

  3. Aggregate cereal imports in 2013/14 to reach a record level

  4. Prices of rice and wheat remain stable

The 2014 wheat production is estimated at record levels

Harvesting of the 2014 winter wheat, accounting for about 95 percent of annual wheat production, is nearing completion, while that of small amounts of spring wheat will be concluded by mid-August. Latest estimates from China National Grain and Oils Information Centre put this year’s wheat production at a record level of 122.6 million tonnes, marginally above last year’s bumper level. This is mainly the result of a slight expansion in plantings, prompted by higher Minimum Purchase Prices (MSP) and other Government support measure, including direct payments to farmers, seed and machinery subsidies and other agricultural inputs.

Planting of the 2014 early double and single rice crops is completed, while that of late double crop will be concluded by the end of August. Output of the single rice crop normally amounts to about 66 percent of the national rice production, with the remaining two harvests (early and late double) representing 17 percent each. Overall, the rainfall situation has been favourable between March and April over most of the rice producing areas. However, in May, parts of Yangtze River Valley, which accounts for almost 70 percent of total rice production, experienced below-average rains reducing soil moisture supplies particularly for the single rice crop. However, the availabilities of water for irrigation are reported at good levels; therefore, the impact of the dry spell on the rice production is expected to be minimal. The total area planted to rice this year is officially estimated at 30.8 million hectares, slightly higher than the record level of the previous year. Assuming favourable weather for the reminder of the season and given the continued Government support to the rice sector, the aggregate 2014 rice production is forecast at 207.4 million tonnes, up 2 percent from the 2013 bumper output.

Planting of the 2014 maize crop was completed in late May in the south and is currently in full swing in northern areas of the country. FAO’s latest forecast point to an aggregate maize crop of 219 million tonnes, slightly above last year’s record output. The expected increase is mainly attributed to a slight expansion in the area planted, in response to rising demand for feed grains.

Cereal imports in the 2013/14 marketing year to reach record levels

Total cereal imports are forecast to increase sharply in the 2013/14 marketing year to a level of 22.1 million tonnes, more than twice the estimated imports in 2012/13. A strong demand for high-quality wheat is seen to have boosted wheat purchases to 8.5 million tonnes in 2013/14 marketing year (July/June), up 5.6 million tonnes from the previous year’s level and the highest since the mid-1990s. For maize, despite a record harvest in 2013, imports in 2013/14 (October/September) could reach an all-time high of 5.5 million tonnes, up 2.8 million tonnes from the previous year, due to sustained continued strong domestic demand.

Prices of rice and wheat remain stable

Retail prices of Japonica rice and wheat flour were stable in May, reflecting adequate supplies from imports in the past months. Favourable prospects for the 2014 harvests also contributed to price stability. Overall, prices were slightly above their levels a year ago, consistent with the year-on-year general inflation rate.

The latest official data indicate that the year-on-year consumer price inflation increased by 2.5 percent in May 2014.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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