6 Feb 2009

Drought emergency declared in China

6:51 am on 6 February 2009

An emergency has been declared over a drought in parts of central and northern China.

Xinhua reported eight wheat-growing regions - Hebei, Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, Shaanxi and Gansu - are threatened.

The China Daily reported there has been no rain or snow since November. Some 9.5 million hectares of farmland are affected.

Crops of winter wheat, which is harvested in May, could be reduced by one-fifth.

Wheat futures in Zhengzhou went up 5% this week, but physical prices have not moved.

The People's Daily says the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief has declared a "level 2" emergency and warned of a "severe drought."