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China to increase wheat imports

China plans to increase wheat imports during the 2020-21 marketing year to secure domestic food requirements that will include an increase in shipments from the United States to help meet commitments under the phase one trade deal, Bloomberg reported on Aug. 4.

The China National Grain and Oils Information Center said the country is set to buy 6 million tonnes over the 12-month period that ends next July 1. If realized, it would be the highest wheat import total in seven years.

Last year, China, which is the largest producer and consumer of wheat, imported more than 4 million tonnes, according to the information center.

It added that China also plans to boost wheat purchases from France and Lithuania during the coming year.

Wheat acreage in China has been declining in recent years as the government has encouraged farmers to plant other crops in the dry northern region to prevent excessive use of underground water, according to Bloomberg.

China pledged to buy $36.5 billion worth of American agriculture products under the phase one deal, which was signed last January.