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China Sets for Abundant Grain Harvest Despite Drought

China is banking on a grain harvest of 490 billion kg this year, 6 billion kg more than last year, according to a forecast from the China Information Center of Grain and Oil.


"China's 2006 grain output is likely to sustain upward momentum for the third year in a row," said Shang Qiangmin, director of the center at the National Conference on Market Analysis of Autumn Grain and Oil which closed in the capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province on Monday.


Shang said that natural disasters, particularly a two-month summer drought afflicting grain production areas, had resulted in a loss of 40 billion kg of grain so far this year.


He said that China could still expect an abundant harvest. China produces grain in summer - a third of annual production - and autumn. Most of north China expects a good harvest this autumn to make up for drought damage.


In 2004, China's grain production - which had been on a downward trend - recovered. Output reached 469.4 billion kg that year, jumping from 430.6 billion kg in 2003.


(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2006)

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