China grain output soars over past 70 years

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 China’s grain output has nearly quintupled over the past 70 years, according to a report from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

China’s grain output grew at an average annual rate of 2.6% from 1949, managing to feed 20% of the world's population with only less than 9% of the world’s arable land, according to the report.

The country increased the diversity of food supply by developing the breeding industry, with the output of aquatic products ranking first in the world since 1989, which stood at 64.6 million tonnes in 2018, 143 times higher than 1949.

The structure of the agriculture industry was continuously optimized, with a modern pattern promoting all-around development of farming, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery replacing the traditional farming pattern, the NBS said.

Scale operation of agriculture was enhanced by the progress of rural land circulation. Over 35 million hectares of family contracted farmland was circulated in 2018, posing a sharp contrast to the 58 million in 2004.

The country also fostered new types of entities of agricultural production and service. By the end of 2018, 600,000 family farms and 2.17 million farmer cooperatives had been registered.

GrainCorp Ltd. said it expects to report underlying EBITDA of A$65 million to A$85 million in fiscal 2019 and an underlying net loss after tax in the range of A$70 million to A$90 million.

The full-year negative EBITDA impact arising from the ongoing disruption of international grain trade flows and Australian wheat markets is forecast to increase to A$60 million to A$70 million, up from an earlier forecast of A$40 million in mid-April.

“While the company has substantially executed its old crop position, new crop trading opportunities in Q4 are no longer expected to materialize due to reluctance from international market participants to consider new season contracts,” GrainCorp said.

Mark Palmquist, chief executive officer of GrainCorp, said fiscal 2019 has been “an extremely difficult” year for the company due to severe disruptions in global grain markets and drought in eastern Australia.

“The extraordinary circumstances in eastern Australia are highlighted by the fact we expect to ship 2.3 million tonnes of grain from South and Western Australia to meet east coast domestic demand,” he said.