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China's cereals import not to increase sharply: official

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BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's cereals imports will not rise sharply in the future despite an increase in the first ten months, Ministry of Agriculture spokesman Bi Meijia has said.

Imports of cereals and flour from January to October jumped 46.3 percent year on year, despite the country's grain yield this year increasing by 10.3 billion jin (5.15 million tonnes) from 2013.

Bi said the figures did not represent a future trend, attributing the increase to lower international prices compared to domestic ones, and the need to meet diverse demand for grain. Currently, imported rice, wheat and corn accounted for only 2.4 percent of the total.

"In the future, we might still need to import some kinds of grain that China is short of, but imports will not rise sharply," he added.

China will not overpurchase cereals in the international market, because "the country's 260 million farmers who depend on agriculture and we have to take into account the relationship between imported grain and farmers' jobs and incomes," Bi said.

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