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China Releases Quotas for Imported Grains

The Chinese government unveiled 18.3 million tons of tariff quotas Sunday for imported grains, including corn, rice and wheat, for this year.

The quotas were set during Beijing's negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) members, according to Monday's China Daily report.

It is the first time the government has formally made public import quotas, applicant qualifications and allocation principles since China became a WTO member in the second half of last year, the newspaper said.

China plans to import 8.468 million tons of wheat this year from its trade partners and 90 percent of the quota belongs to state-owned foreign trade companies.

For corn, the import quota is 5.85 million tons and 68 percent of the amount will be given to state-owned applicants.

The State Development Planning Commission (SDPC), authorized to set tariff quotas for major agricultural imports, also unveiled quotas for other key products including cotton, palm oil, rapeseed oil, rice, woolen yarn, soya-bean oil, sugar, wheat and wool, China Daily reported.

Early this month, the SDPC unveiled a regulation on tariff quotas of agricultural imports after publishing the drafts of the rule last November to determine public opinion.

Under the new rules, drawn up by the SDPC, the country's imports of 10 key agricultural products will be decided in accordance with both the demands of the Chinese market and the tariff quotas promised by Beijing during negotiations with the WTO.

(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2002)

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