China produced 1.9 per cent less grain in 2001 than in the previous year, said agriculture minister Du Qinglin. The minister did not give a total figure but said that it was more than 450m tonnes. Every 1 per cent drop in grain production means that China has to import 5m tonnes of grain.
Cotton production rose by 20 per cent in 2001 to more than 5.3m tonnes, while oilseed output was slightly lower year-onyear at 29m tonnes. China produced 87m tonnes of sugar crops last year, 15 per cent more than in 2000.