Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wheat Deficit in Gansu

China's arid northwestern province of Gansu is having trouble restocking its wheat reserves in 2013 due to a combination of bad weather and structural adjustment of agriculture. There was little rain in the spring, but heavy rains came during the summer wheat harvest, causing a decline in wheat quality.

With local grain supplies tight, grain officials were instructed to go door to door, set up buying points and other measures to procure grain. They also went to other provinces like Henan, Anhui, Shandong, and Xinjiang to buy wheat to fill their deficit.

Gansu's summer grain (mainly wheat) production fell 13.4 percent, or 255,700 tonnes (see table below). Overall procurement was down 36,000 tonnes. Since production fell more than procurement, that suggests that less grain was kept on farms for consumption or storage. State-owned companies formulated procurement plans, disinfected storage bins, and mobilized trucks, scales, conveyer belts, testing and drying equipment for the grain-stocking campaign.

Purchases by state-owned grain companies went up by 38,500 tonnes. State-owned companies accounted for one-third of purchases. In the seven prefectures where there was not much grain to purchase, officials bought 144,000 tonnes of grain from outside the province in order to restock provincial, municipal and county grain reserves and meet local consumption needs.

Gansu Province summer grain production and procurement, 2013
Item Amount Change Percent change
Summer grain output 1000 tonnes 2,163.9 -255.7 -13.4

Grain procured 1000 tonnes 1,600.0 -36.0 -2.2
--by state-owned companies 1000 tonnes 542.5 38.5 7.7

Wheat production fell in regions west of the Yellow River because land was shifted to "special agriculture." Wheat production was concentrated in three counties where farmers mainly grew wheat for their own consumption. Areas in Gansu that used to have surplus wheat to ship to other regions now are in deficit.

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