China's grain prices to remain stable despite rising int'l wheat prices: NDRC

Increased international grain prices are not high enough to raise China' s domestic prices, and the ample domestic supplies will be able to meet the demand this year, China' s economic regulator said on Friday.

"Currently, the global grain prices are still much lower than domestic prices. Even if international prices rise steeply, it will not pose a significant impact on domestic prices," a statement posted on the ministry' s website said, quoting an unnamed officer with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The official pointed out that the international grain market is balanced in terms of supply and demand at present, and said there is, therefore, no possibility of sharp price increases.

He attributed the recent rise in global wheat prices to short-term market speculation. The prices would return to normal levels after speculative moves are phased out, the official said.

In July, international wheat prices rose significantly after Russia, a major wheat producing country, reported a sharp decline in wheat output following its worst drought in more than a century.

China could meet its demand for wheat, as most of its farms grow grains. A series of policy tools could also keep grain prices at balanced and reasonable levels this year, the official said.

However, he also pointed out that the authority should pay special attention to the extreme weather conditions, which could cause a negative impact on agricultural production.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 14Aug10]

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