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China's Grain Output to Top 490 Mln Tons in 2006

China's grain output would increase for the third consecutive year to more than 490 million tons in 2006, according to the State Grain and Oil Information Center.


The center slightly raised its 2006 maize, wheat and rice production forecasts. But the soybean forecast was cut by 400,000 tons to 15.5 million tons.


Planting areas for maize and wheat rose slightly but rice areas were stable at 29.2 million hectares.


Because of severe drought and insect pests this summer in southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chongqing, and in central Hubei Province, rice output will not exceed 180.74 million tons in2006.


In regard to oil-bearing crops, the center said the soybean planting area would reach 9.1 million hectares, with 15.5 million tons, an output of 850,000 tons down - or 5.2 percent - than in 2005.


(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2006)

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