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China Grain Output to Exceed 510 Mln Tons in 2008

China expects an increase in grain output for the fifth consecutive year in 2008, with production to exceed 510 million tons, according to the state grain information center.

"We estimated that this year's harvest would reach 511.5 million tons, up more than 10 million tons from 2007," the center's vice director Yang Weilu was quoted as saying by China Securities Journal on Monday.

Rice production was to reach 185.49 million tons, up 1.01 million tons from last year, while wheat output would increase 2.64 million tons to 109.86 million tons, according to the center.

The country was likely to harvest 151.83 million tons of corn and 17.54 million tons of beans, up 4.17 million and 3.46 million tons respectively.

Yang foresaw no major fluctuation in the country's grain prices. "More grain reserve led by expected output increase and the state price control together would secure a stable grain price," he said.

China has adopted multiple measures and policies since late last year in a bid to stabilize grain prices and promote agricultural production, including curbing grain export, raising subsidies for farmers and tackling fertilizer price increase, among others.

Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture showed that China has mainly relied on itself to feed its population of more than 1.3 billion.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2008)

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