China, with over 20 percent of the earth's population, is both the world's largest producer and largest consumer of cereal grains. As a consequence, the supply and demand of grain in China will have a major impact on the world food trade. In this comprehensive study of China's grain production and trade, Colin A. Carter and Fu-Ning Zhong trace the historical role of China in the grain trade; analyze the impact of economic and political variables on production, consumption, and trade; and discuss alternative scenarios for China's future levels of trade. This is the first study to move beyond aggregate data to deal with regional models of Chinese grain production. The authors' major findings are that budgetary pressures will limit further increases in grain prices, and consequently the growth rate in grain yields will slow. As the total population continues to increase, China's area planted in grain will decline. The Chinese will gradually shift their food consumption toward more meat and other indirect grain consumption; therefore China may continue to import a limited amount of grain but imports will shift from wheat to feed grains.
Preface -- An Overview of China's Grain Production and Trade -- China's Grain Policies and Their Impact on Production -- The Internal Grain Marketing System -- Production Models -- Consumption Models -- Projections and Trade Implications