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China becomes net exporter of wheat

(Monday, Feb. 24, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- AsiaPulse: China exported more wheat than it imported last year with a trade surplus of 90,000 tons, becoming a net exporter for the first time in history.

Liu Jian, vice-minister of agriculture, told a national meeting on quality wheat recently that China imported 600,000 tons of wheat last year, down 12 per cent year on year, while exports totaled 690,000 tons, up by 51 per cent. The vice-minister attributed the sharp growth in exports to poor harvests by major wheat exporters and price hikes, adding the unexpected growth rate is not sustainable.

According to figures released by the ministry, the acreage under quality wheat rose to 7.26 million ha, accounting for 31 per cent of the country's total acreage under wheat.

The vice-minister said the ministry would continue to help some major wheat-producing areas to improve their quality of wheat and international competitiveness.