China ups rice buying - from Vietnam
- Published: 12 Dec 2012 at 21.47
- Online news:
Rice purchases by China, the largest producer, may soar fourfold in the coming year after a government policy to support farm incomes drove up domestic prices, the United Nations said.
Shipments may reach 2.3 million metric tonnes to 2.4 million tonnes, said Concepcion Calpe, a senior economist at the UN's Food AND Agriculture Organization. That compares with a prediction of 2 million tonnes last month and 600,000 tonnes in 2011, according to the FAO. While there's no shortage in China, processors increased imports to profit from the difference between domestic and overseas rates, said Bai Peipei, an analyst at Beijing Shennong Kexin Agribusiness Consulting Co.Rising imports by China may bolster prices even as world inventories tracked by the FAO swell to a record, boosted by the biggest global crop ever. While rice, the staple for half the world, has risen 4.4 per cent in Chicago this year, it is 16 per cent below a three-year high in September 2011. Most purchases by China, which typically imports from Thailand, were of Vietnamese origin this year."The year 2012 marks a radical departure from China's normal pattern of purchases," Calpe wrote in an e-mail to Hiroyuki Konuma, the FAO's assistant secretary general and regional representative for Asia and Pacific. "Nobody knows the actual volume of rice held in stocks by China," according to the e-mail, which was forwarded to Bloomberg Tuesday.The price of the Indica variety in Hubei, a Chinese province with a surplus of the grain, has gained 11 per cent to 3,900 yuan ($625) per tonne in the year to September, FAO data show. That compares with Vietnam's export rate of $451 a tonne for its 5 per cent broken rice, the most-expensive variety from that nation tracked by the FAO. That variety has fallen further to $446 a tonne in November, the data show. Thailand's five per cent broken white rice was at $598 a tonne, according to the data."The government continues to buy from farmers at high prices to support planting," said Bai, of Beijing Shennong, a researcher that advises companies including global trading houses and government agencies. "Some processors in southern China have chosen to import rice over using...
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