Chinese imports of Australian wheat on the rise

whaet  Nupur DasguptaWith unseasonal rains in May destroying a substantial part of Chinese wheat crops, the country has rushed into the Australian wheat market, buying close to 1.5mn tonnes of the grain in the last four months

The splurge has sparked hopes among Australian grain traders that China may buy a record three to four million tonnes of new-season wheat from Australia this year to boost its own dwindling supplies.

China has, earlier this year, imported huge quantity of wheat from the US after about 16 per cent of the country’s wheat harvests were damaged by frost and rain earlier in 2013.

The US Department of Agriculture, two weeks ago, raised its forecast for China's total grain imports from 3.2mn tonnes last year to 8.5mn tonnes in 2013-2014, as the Asian nation turned to imports to fill the looming shortfall between production and demand.

Traders and analysts have now estimated China’s total wheat imports this year to rise above 10mn tonnes.

Grain purchases of this scale may see China overtake Egypt as both the single largest buyer of Australian wheat and the biggest global importer.

The soaring Chinese wheat purchases may lift global prices of the grain by about 10 per cent in the next few months, a Times of Malta report has claimed.



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