China’s grain supply not to be affected by Russia’s export ban: experts

By Yang Kunyi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/19 17:58:36

Corn is seen in China's Heilongjiang Province, one of the nation's major grain producers. The corn will be transported to southern cities in China to meet the urgent need for grain, fodder and disinfectants. Photo: cnsphoto

 China's food security remains intact despite the disrupted global supply chain, given the high level of self-sufficiency in grain supplies, especially in staple food such as wheat and rice, according to experts and officials on Sunday.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted the global supply chain of grains, and caused several countries, including the largest wheat exporter Russia to suspend its grain exports until July 1, after its export quota is reached, according to a report by Reuters. Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of, a website specializing in grain news, told the Global Times that despite the global uncertainties, China's own grain supply comes mostly from the domestic market and will remain independent from the international disruptions.

China imposes a strict quota system on the country's grain imports. According to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the quota for 2020 is limited to 9.6 million ton of wheat, 7.2 million ton of corn and 5.3 million ton of rice. According to Jiao, the quota is unlikely to change and was often unfulfilled even in normal years. 

"Those imports quotas account for only a fraction of the total supply in the Chinese market," Jiao told the Global Times, "and among the supplies is a large proportion of soybeans from the US, which so far remains unaffected. "

China's overall outlook in domestic grain yields is also positive, Liu Lihua, an official from China's Ministry of Agriculture said during Sunday's press conference. 

According to Liu, more than 190 million mu of land has been sowed in this year's spring-sowing season, completing 21 percent of total planned coverage and one percent faster than last year's schedule. Rice growth in China's Southwest region is also indicating an overall increase in output.

However, due to mounting concerns over the disrupted supply chain, the soybean price in China reached 3,300 yuan per ton in late March from 2,900 yuan in early March, according to Liu, but she also noted that China has enough stockpiles of soybeans to contain the price. As of mid April, the price has been contained back to 3,200 yuan per ton. 

"China's soybeans imports from Russia has been increasing as it seeks to diversify its soybeans sources, but it still remains a relatively insignificant amount at around 800,000 to 900,000 tons," Jiao said. "Once more stockpiles are released into the market the price of soybeans can be expected to drop further."


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