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China orders priority in diesel supply for wheat crop
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Famers crop wheat in Yuanyang County of Xinxiang City in central China's Henan Province, June 4, 2008. The harvest of over 5.2 million hectares of wheat in Henan Province has been completed by 5 p.m. on June 11. The whole summer grain crops of Henan is expected to break 30 billion kilograms.

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have ordered that supplies for the summer harvest be guaranteed amid reports of shortages in some areas.

Following their order, the State Council has asked local governments and related enterprises to prioritize supplies such as diesel, the fuel for farm vehicles, to take advantage of the best time for the ongoing wheat harvest.

Tight supplies of diesel were reported in some areas since the country began to reap the wheat crop in May as refiners experienced losses resulting from domestic prices that were kept below the spiraling international prices.

The summer harvest is vital for China as wheat production would add to the grain output for the year.

The State Council asked producers to enhance production to increase supplies. It also warned related departments to impose tighter supervision over market order to cap prices.

It said more specific measures, such as providing exclusive supply channels for diesel-powered farming vehicles, handing out special filling cards for farming vehicles and direct diesel delivery to farmers, would also be implemented.

Little damage to grain harvest

The earthquake had little effect on Sichuan's grain harvest. But the province suffered massive damage to its cash crops and agricultural infrastructure, provincial agricultural officials said.

Sichuan's quake zone is not a major producer of grain. Only about 25,000 tons was lost. In fact, the summer grain yield has so far seen an increase of 92,000 tons.

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