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Reference Date: 17-December-2014


  1. 2014/15 winter wheat plantings estimated to remain close to last year’s level

  2. Record 2014 aggregate cereal harvest estimated

  3. Aggregate cereal imports in 2014/15 forecast to decrease from last year’s record level

  4. Prices of rice and wheat remain stable

2014/15 winter wheat plantings estimated to remain close to last year’s level

Planting of the 2014/15 winter wheat crop, which accounts for about 95 percent of total wheat production, was completed in October. During sowing, generally favourable weather conditions facilitated planting activities. Above-average rains and mild weather in October and November over the main wheat-growing areas, including Yangtze Valley and much of the North China Plain, benefited vegetative growth of the winter wheat. Nationally, the area planted to wheat is estimated to remain close to last year’s level of 24.1 million hectares, largely seen as a response to unchanged Minimum Support Price for the 2015 wheat crop compared with 2014. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) set the minimum purchase price at CNY 2,360 per tonne (USD 385 per tonne), based on the production cost of farmers, as well as the international markets prices.

Record 2014 aggregate cereal harvest estimated

The 2014 aggregate cereal production is estimated at 555.9 million tonnes, similar to the previous year’s record crop. Generally favourable weather conditions across much of the country during the growing period is the main factor contributing to the record production this year. The 2014 wheat production, harvested by mid-August, is estimated by CNGOIC at a record level of 126.2 million tonnes, up 3 percent from last year’s bumper level. This is mainly the result of higher yields, following favourable weather conditions and adequate supplies of irrigation water. The 2014 maize crop, harvested in June until mid-October 2014, has been set at 215.7 million tonnes, slightly below last year’s record high, as yields are estimated to have returned to average level. The 2014 rice harvest is officially estimated at a record level of 205 million tonnes, 1 percent up from last year’s bumper harvest. The anticipated increase in production is mainly attributed to a small expansion in area planted, prompted by higher Minimum Purchase Prices and other Government support measures, including direct payments to farmers and subsidies to seed and machinery as well as other agricultural inputs. The excessive rains in mid-May across southern parts of China, which led to localized damage to the early double rice crop, as well as dry conditions between June and July in parts of the main growing Yangtze River Valley, had overall a limited impact on rice production.

Cereal imports in 2014/15 marketing year forecast to decrease from last year’s record level

Total cereal imports in the 2014/15 marketing year are forecast to decrease from last year’s record level and reach 17.5 million tonnes, some 14 percent below the estimated imports in 2013/14. The decrease is mainly attributed to lower wheat imports, which are projected at 3 million tonnes, less than half the record level of the previous year, given this year’s record harvest and large carryover stocks. Similarly, maize imports are expected to decrease by 9 percent to 3 million tonnes.

For rice, imports in 2014 are forecast to remain similar to last year’s below-average level of 2.4 million tonnes.

Prices of rice and wheat remain stable

Retail prices of Japonica rice and wheat flour remained stable in November despite good supplies from the ongoing 2014 main harvest and adequate imports in the past months. Prices continued to be underpinned by high Minimum Support Prices and the recent reinforcement on import controls. The latest official data indicate that the year-on-year consumer price index increased by 1.4 percent in November 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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