The early rice crop now coming on the market in southern China has been hit by weather and pest problems. A July 30 posting on China Grain Net's "360-degree early rice purchase" microblog said, "early rice output is not optimistic."
The problems are attributed to cool, wet weather during the key growing period of May and June. The Ministry of Agriculture held training sessions earlier in July to provide guidance for dealing with the pest problems but the crop appears to have been hurt by the unusual pest pressure.
There are differing reports on early rice prices.
One microblog post said the price started out high and is stable. Another post said prices are on a rising trend. He says the price in Hunan is 135 yuan/50kg, well above the government's minimum of 120 yuan and could go higher. This year's 120-yuan minimum was already 17 percent higher than last year. The microblogger recommended that buyers pay attention to quality. Another posting from Wuhu in Anhui Province reported that brokers were buying rice in villages at 115 yuan/50kg while grain depots were posting prices of 120-to-125 yuan/50kg, slightly above the minimum.
At the State Administration of Grain's July 10 meeting on early rice purchasing, Vice Director Zeng Liying announced that China was going to have another good early rice harvest.