China’s food structure and safety: the perspective of grain circulation and trading

MAO Xuefeng1 LIU Jing2 ZHU Xinkai

(1.School of Agricultural and Rural Development, Renmin University)
(2.School of Economics, Central University of Finance and Economics)

【Abstract】This article assessed China’s food safety status by food structure, grain circulation and trading. The study found that the “11th consecutive year” is accurately to be the realization of “11th consecutive year” in food total amount, and the reference point was the historical lowest grain yield at 2003. The main driver for the growth is from corn production increase, not the limited rations increase. Chinese food import undergoes substantial changes shifting from supply and demand regulation to large-scale imports. From the view of food structure, the trade of rations, especially the rice, may face great risks. Future food insecurity is more about the circulation and trade issues. Therefore, the government shall attach more importance to grain distribution and trade capacity when building grain comprehensive production capacity.

【Keywords】 food safety; circulation; trading; food structure;


【Funds】 Research Foundation of Renmin University of China (fundamental research funds for specific projects of central universities)"The rising trend for food price and volatility characteristics: identification and control measures" (11XNI015).

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    [1]. 1 In addition, China also imported 9.221 million tons of edible vegetable oil (including palm oil), 4.546 million tons of sugar and 0.584 million tons of pork. [^Back]

    [2]. 2 According to FAO's "Food unsafety in 2009," food crisis caused significant increase in the number of undernourished people (FAO, 2009). [^Back]

    [3]. 3 Details refer to Tong Kang, “Globalization of Japanese food trading business: history, trend, operations mode and the enlightenment to China food market.” [^Back]

    [4]. 4 Xu Chang (2011) summarized China’s domestic grain circulation characteristics during modern times and pointed out that grain circulation has characteristics as multi-level, long distance and large quantity with low value. [^Back]

    [5]. 5 Huang Aijun (1995), Wu Shanlin (2000), Gao Fan (2005), Jiang Changyun (2012) and other people have made many studies on the transfer of food production centers, thus this paper does not make much analysis on this, and only summarizes some features of grain circulation. [^Back]

    [6]. 6 According to the executive meeting of State Council, in 2014 the inter-provincial transfer of grains reached 10.12 million tons. This requires highly on port transit rail and sea transport, bulk grain car transport services, and counterpart allocation. [^Back]

    [7]. 7 Currently, cooperation between China’s agro enterprises and multinational companies merely focuses on the domestic market, including processing, logistics, warehousing, research and development, and so on. [^Back]

    [8]. 8 Chen Xiwen (2013) pointed out that the amount of China’s soybean import is too big, which makes China face three major risks: lost price control, assume growing safety risk, and support so-called “China threat theory.” [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1235/F

Vol , No. 03, Pages 76-85

March 2015


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 China’s food supply-demand and variety structure
  • 3 Risk identification in the process of grain circulation
  • 4 Risk identification in the process of food trading
  • 5 Conclusion and policy implications
  • Footnote