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China’s edible bean, pea and lentil production
China’s edible bean, pea and lentil production (collectively termed pulses) is forecast to reach 4.5 MMT in 2006—an increase of 28 percent from the previous year due to higher kidney bean prices. During 2005, the Chinese government’s policy favored grain and oilseed production; consequently, the acreage for corn, wheat and soybeans rose while pulse acreage declined. Pulse farmers receive no support from the government. The reduced kidney bean production has resulted in price increases for a variety of pulses, including white and red kidney beans. Responding to price increases, farmers in Northeastern and Northwestern China are expected to increase the pulse acreage by about 20 percent in 2006. China’s pulse exports are forecast to rise 6 percent to reach 850,000 metric tons in MY06/07 as a result of the predicted increase in production. China’s pulse exports in MY05/06 are estimated at 800,000 metric tons, 5 percent lower than the previous year. On the import side, China’s dry pea imports are forecast to continue rising, as a result of increased consumption of vermicelli both domestically and in export markets.
Besides for use in vermicelli production, imported dry peas are used for processing various types of instant noodles in coastal regions, where the imported peas are more competitively priced than the domestically produced peas.
Pulse Production Forecast Up

China’s pulse production is forecast to reach 4.5 million metric tons in 2006, a million metric tons higher than the estimate for 2005. Regarded as a minor crop, pulse production accounts for less than one percent of China’s annual grain and feed output. The forecast increase in kidney bean production contributed the most to the increase in overall pulse production in 2006. In 2005, in response to higher prices and government support for grains, farmers planted more rice, wheat and soybeans. As a result, pulse acreage declined. The decline in both acreage and production in 2005 pushed wholesale prices upward not only for kidney beans but also for other pulses. Trade sources estimate that the prices for some kidney bean varieties such as white kidney beans and red kidney beans increased by 20-30 percent in 2005. Responding to higher bean prices, farmers will plant more kidney beans in the major pulse producing regions: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, and Northwestern China. There is no Chinese government agency monitoring the domestic market prices of pulses. Customs data on kidney beans do not show prices on bean varieties, but the average kidney prices in January 2006 were 22 percent higher than the same period during the previous year. Customs data show that kidney bean exports accounted for more than half of China’s pulse export value in MY04/05 and MY03/04; the northern ports of Dalian and Tianjin export more than 80 percent of the kidney beans. As mentioned in previous reports, the low production cost for pulses in China will continue to keep the kidney beans competitive for the export market in the years to come.
MGR Archive 4.6.2006
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