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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chinese firm eyes Indian wheat market

NEW DELHI: A Chinese wheat producer has decided to increase its production with an aim to tap the market in India, which is importing the commodity for the second year in a row.

Shandong Zhouyuan Seed and Nursery Co Ltd would expand its wheat seed production due to a rising demand in India and other countries in southeast Asia, a company release said.

Shandong Zhouyuan Seed and Nursery Co Ltd (SZSN) is also incorporated in the US through its subsidiary of the same name. It is engaged in production and marketing of seeds with high starch content for use in industrial food production.

The average wheat output in India is approximately 2.5 to 3 tons per hectare, while in China it is about five tons, SZSN President Wang Zhigang said.

India is currently importing wheat for second year in a row to augment its stock position despite the production in 2006-07 season is estimated at 74.89 million tons.

"Because of short cultivated area and lack of fertiliser, the gap in wheat demand and supply will remain in such areas in the next few years, and this is a big chance for us," Zhigang said.

The company will use new hybrid seed technology in order to realise sufficient supply, he added.

Three independent seed growers and a municipality current grow seeds in 1,400-1,750 acres of land for Zhouyuan. But the company plans to develop its own production capability on 4,250 acres.

The company quoted analysts as saying that India's import demand on wheat would possibly impel the international price to rise benefiting overseas exporters.

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