China increases state rice purchasing to strengthen grain reserve

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China has increased purchasing of middle- and late-season rice in the country's annual state buying of the autumn grain crops, further strengthening the nation's grain stockpile.

As of the end of March, China Grain Reserves Group (CGRG) had bought 22.08 million tonnes of middle- and late-season rice at the minimum purchase prices from last year's autumn harvest, an increase of 350,000 tonnes year on year, according to the group.

China has an abundant reserve to ensure grain safety, said Shen Leihai, a spokesperson with the CGRG, which runs the country's centrally-administered grain reserve, citing regular central stockpiling and ample policy grain inventories.

The CGRG has also released more grains from the central reserves to stabilize market supply amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). From Jan. 20 to March 31, the group sold 10.14 million tonnes of grain to the market, registering a 43-percent rise from a year ago.

Rice is a staple food in China, whose total grain output consists of three parts -- early rice, summer grain, and autumn production. Autumn grain crops, which include corn and middle- and late-season rice, account for the bulk of the grain production.

As the world's top food producer and consumer, China saw its grain output reach a record high of 664 million tonnes last year, the 16th bumper year in a row.

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