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. China has sufficient grain reserves: state economic planner

by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) May 6, 2008
China's national economic planner said Tuesday grain reserves were sufficient to ensure domestic supplies, adding the rise in global grain prices would only have a limited impact on the country.

The supply and demand of grain is basically in equilibrium with adequate state reserves and restrictions on grain exports in place, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement on its website.

"With sufficient domestic supplies and strict control on grain exports, the increase in international grain prices does not have a major impact on the domestic market," a spokesperson.

The remarks came amid concerns over a spike in the nation's inflation, mostly pushed up by rising food prices.

The spokesperson noted China produced over 501.5 million tonnes of grain in 2007, almost level with the nation's annual consumption of 510 million tonnes.

China mainly relies on domestic supplies for staples like wheat, rice and corn, according to the spokesperson.

China's inflation reached 8.0 percent in the first three months of the year. In February, it climbed to 8.7 percent, the highest in nearly 12 years, before easing slightly to 8.3 percent in March.

High prices, and their potential for social disruption, have emerged as one of the key concerns facing China's ruling Communist Party as it seeks to foster both stability and a long-lasting economic expansion.

China scrapped tax rebates for grain exports late last year and levied taxes on grain exports in 2008 aimed at reining in galloping inflation and ensuring stable domestic food supplies.

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China steps up efforts to curb grain smuggling: official media
Beijing (AFP) May 5, 2008
China has stepped up efforts to curb illegal wheat and rice exports as traders try to smuggle out grain to take advantage of record high global prices, state press reported Monday.

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