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China to release state wheat reserves after weather damages output

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[BEIJING] China will release state wheat reserves after bad weather curbed output in major growing areas this year, an official at the country's grain administration said, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Chen Shuyu, spokesman for the State Grain and Reserves Administration, said in an interview with Xinhua on Friday state wheat inventories were still ample despite the drop in output and market supplies would be fully guaranteed.

"Government authorities will closely monitor the wheat market and release some of the state wheat stockpiles at an appropriate time to meet market demand and avoid drastic price fluctuations," Chen was quoted as saying.

Chen said windy and rainy weather in the main wheat producing areas, a longer market-based wheat purchasing period, and the reluctance of farmers to sell wheat due to expectations that prices will rise had led to a decline in wheat purchases from a year earlier.

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Wheat output from China's summer harvest fell 2.4 percent to 128.35 million tonnes, mainly due to falling wheat acreage and yields as bad weather damaged the grain and after farmers switched to other crops, according data from the statistics bureau.

REUTERS