World Grain News: China expects smaller grain harvest this fall

by Teresa Acklin
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   BEIJING — China's fall grain harvest is likely to be smaller than last year, in part because low prices have discouraged some farmers from planting, the state newspaper Business Weekly reported recently.

   Recent harvests have been unusually large, driving down prices and depressing farmers' incomes, the newspaper reported, even though government grain depots are paying higher than market prices. The newspaper said the area of crops to be harvested this fall was 1.9 million acres smaller than last year, but did not give a total area planted.

   The government has not released exact figures on the 1998 harvest, but the harvest could set a new record of more than 500 million tonnes, the newspaper said.