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China Said to Buy Soybeans From Domestic Harvest to Help Farmers

China, the world’s biggest soybean consumer, plans to stockpile the domestic crop for a fifth year in an attempt to boost farmer incomes and increase state inventories, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The government may pay farmers 4,600 yuan ($737) a metric ton, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak to the media. The National Development and Reform Commission will send a proposal to the State Council next week, they said. The office of commission spokesman Li Pumin declined to comment when reached by phone today.

China has bought soybeans from farmers every year since 2008, giving the state “abundant” reserves, Chen Xuecong, vice president of Sinograin Oils Co., said at a conference in Guangzhou yesterday.

Purchases under this so-called temporary stockpiling program have totaled 14.6 million tons, said researcher About 3.75 million tons were auctioned this year when global prices surged, while a further 2.45 million tons were sold in the past two years to selected crushers, it said. In addition to the temporary reserves, China holds so-called regular inventories. Their amount is not disclosed.

The country set the procurement price at 4,000 yuan last year, according to researcher, which cited a government circular.

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