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China's grain stockpiling distorts market

China is sending confusing signals to the world market by importing huge volumes of agricultural commodities it does not actually need.

     On March 5, the Ministry of Finance announced plans to spend 33% more this year, or $24.7 billion, to expand strategic stockpiles of grains, cotton, edible oils and related products. In 2014, China imported 114 million tons of these products, far more than any other country. This massive import volume suggests the country is short of its own harvests, but in fact China has surpluses of nearly all major commodities.

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