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China Increases Food Imports

From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report. A new report says China's demand for food imports will sharply rise in the next 10 years. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development made the prediction. They say China will increase its imports of grains, oil seeds and meat.

Angel Gurria is secretary-general of the OECD. He says China's need for food is growing at a time when world food production is decreasing. Imports to China are expected to grow at a yearly rate of three percent to 1.7 million tons by the year 2022. China's imports of crops used to feed animals, called coarse grains, are expected to double by 2022. And imports of oil seeds are predicted to rise 41 percent. A

ngel Gurria says China's economic growth is fueling its hunger for imports. He says the country already has a big effect on world food markets. Jose Graziano Da Silva is the head of the Food and Agriculture Organization. He says reducing the large amount of food that is now wasted would help meet the growing demand for food. The rise in the Chinese demand for food is expected to cause grain and other commodity prices to rise.

Businesses are taking new steps because of China's influence on world food trade. Last month, the Chinese meat processing company Shuanghui announced a $7 billion offer for the American pork company Smithfield Foods. China is already the world's biggest importer of milk and soybeans. It is expected to become the world's biggest consumer of pork, passing the European Union within 10 years. The FAO and OECD say that will cause international pork prices to rise.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Alex Villarreal.

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