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Chinese wheat farmers expect prices to soar and hoard harvest

COVID and bad weather stoke food security fears despite government assurance

Public concern in China about food security has intensified since June this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and severe flooding.   © Reuters

China's farmers are hoarding more of their wheat harvest this year, as they expect prices to rise in light of severe summer floods and fallout from the coronavirus.

Farmers in the country's main wheat-growing regions sold 49.3 million tons of their crop for commercial use and to state reserves as of Aug. 31, 20% less than in the same period last year, according to government data. Within that total, sales to the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, which stockpiles and manages the country's strategic food reserves, sank by almost 70% to 6.2 million tons. Wheat purchased by market participants such as mills accounted for about 86% of the 202 total, up from 70% last year, Xinhua News Agency reported on Aug. 14.

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