BEIJING - China produced 34.01 million tons of early rice in 2014, a decrease of 125,000 tons, or 0.4 percent, from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Friday in a statement.
According to the NBS, China's early rice planting area for 2014 stood at 579.5 million hectares, 0.2 percent less than last year, with yield per hectare down 0.2 percent to 5.87 ton.
Huang Jiacai, a senior statistician with the NBS, said it was still a good harvest year for early rice given the unit yield is the second highest in history second only to 2013.
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Corn futuresprices skyrocket to 3-year highThe planting area remained stable thanks to favorable policies implemented in Central China's provinces of Hunan and Hubei, which led to an increase of planting areas in the two regions, he said.
Hunan is China's largest producer of early rice, with an output of 8.5 million tons and a planting area of 1.45 million hectares in 2014. Neighboring Jiangxi province ranked the second with an output of 8.2 million tons, according to the NBS.
Early rice is mainly planted in eight central and southern provincial-level regions of China, including Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hubei, Anhui, Fujian and Hainan.
China's total grain output consists of three parts -- early rice, summer grain and autumn production.
In 2013, China's total grain output expanded 2.1 percent year on year to hit 601.94 million tons, marking 10 years in a row for increased grain production.
Based on the data in 2013, early rice accounted for nearly 6 percent of total grain output.
The summer grain crops, mainly wheat and early-season rice, account for about 22 percent of China's total grain output. Autumn grain crops, which include corn and middle- and late-season rice, account for the remaining 72 percent.
China's grain self-sufficiency rate stood above 97 percent in 2013 and cereal imports reached 14 million tons, accounting for less than 2.6 percent of the country's cereal output, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.