China expects to see record high for grain production this year

19 Oct 2023 | Jane Li

China’s grain production could hit a record high this year, as the country’s autumn grain production is going well, the deputy head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Sheng Laiyun, has said.

The ample supplies of agricultural products and steady growth of the animal husbandry industry have built very good foundations for China’s economic recovery, said Sheng at a press conference on China’s overall economical situation in the first three quarters on Wednesday.

China is recovering from the damage brought by Covid-19, which had heavily disrupted the country’s economy in the past three years.

This year is the first year after China lifted its stringent Covid control measures, and saw its third quarter GDP expand by 4.9% year-on-year.

Despite unfavourable natural conditions this summer, which led to slight decrease in summer grain output, autumn grain production is helped by slightly expanded sowing area and more rainfalls in north region, said Sheng.

Overall, autumn harvesting is going well and the country could see another bumper harvest for grains this year, according to comments published on Thursday by Wang Guirong, the head of Department of Rural Surveys under the National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s summer grain output this year reached 292.3 billion jin (146.13 million mt), which represents a 0.9% decrease from last year, but it was still the second highest amount on record.

The early rice output reached 56.7 billion jin, a 0.8% growth from last year, according to Wang.

More pigs sold

Meanwhile, in the first three quarters, 537.23 million pigs were sold nationwide, which was an increase of 16.93 million, or 3.3% year-on-year, according to Wang.

Specifically, the number of pigs sold in the first, second and third quarters increased by 1.7%, 3.7% and 4.7% year-on-year, respectively.

National pork production was 43.01 million mt, an increase of 1.51 million mt, or 3.6%, year-on-year.

At the end of the third quarter, the number of pigs nationwide stood at 442.29 million, a year-on-year decrease of 1.66 million, or 0.4%; a month-on-month increase of 7.11 million, or 1.6%.

In addition, live pig price dropped by 21.5% year-on-year in Q3, compared with an 8.3% growth in Q1 and flat in Q2.

Falling hog prices in China have started to turn margins negative, and there was already lower grain demand evident in forward sales, according to a source.