Thursday, November 11, 2010

Privatizing? the Grain Industry

According to a brief article from China Securities News in October, the number of state-owned grain enterprises has fallen by nearly half since 2004. The reporter learned from the Grain Bureau that there were over 18,000 state-owned enterprises in the grain indsustry at the end of 2009, down more than 16,000 since a "property rights breakthrough" in 2004, with steady structural change and industry-upgrading as the objective. Since 1998, state-owned grain enterprises have shed 2.67 million employees, an 81% decrease.

That doesn't mean the grain industry has been privatized. According to the report, from 2006 to 2009 state-owned enterprises accounted for 57.8% of national grain purchases. "After reform of the grain market...state-owned enterprises continue to play a leading role in grain purchase."

Since the beginning of 2007 grain enterprises have earned good profits. State-owned grain enterprises' net assets (equity?) totaled 81.7 billion yuan at the end of 2009. Their assets were up 14 billion yuan from 2004 despite decreasing in number by nearly half and losing 81% of their employees. Now that's consolidation!

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