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China's agriculture sector faces rising costs in 2011: think tank

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BEIJING, April 19 (Xinhua) -- China's agriculture sector is expected to face increasing pressures from rising costs in 2011, according to China's Rural Economy (2010-2011), a report released Tuesday a leading think tank.

Fertilizer prices, which increased during the fourth quarter last year, were likely to keep rising this year while stock feed prices are also likely to rise, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said in the report.

The CASS report also predicted grain prices, especially of corn, to continue to trend upwards in 2011.

Further, the report urged greater efforts to stabilize agricultural production costs, by increasing supply and tightening market regulations.

China's annual grain output is estimated to reach 550 million tonnes in 2011, the report said.

China's grain output rose 2.9 percent year on year to 546.41 million tonnes in 2010, marking it the seventh consecutive year of growth for China's grain output.

On foreign trade of agricultural products, the report said imports and exports of China's agricultural products are both expected to slow in the medium and long term.

Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture showed that China's export volume of agricultural products registered an average of 13.2 percent annual growth from 2002 to 2010.

According to the report, China has maintained a high rate of grain self-sufficiency.

In 2010, China's domestically-grown rice, wheat and corn is estimated to have accounted for about 99.8 percent, 98.9 percent, and 99.1 percent of the total domestic grain market share, the report said.

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