production rapidly increased in China between 1978 and about 1984, then it stagnated or
even fell for a few years. According to these FAO estimates China had a particularly bad
year in 1988, when wheat production was significantly down and had to be supplemented by
net-imports, to keep up the necessary domestic supply. Since the early 1990s wheat
production increased again, but more slowly then between 1978 and 1980.
wheat supply available for direct human consumption also increased rapidly in the 1980s.
During the early 1990s the supply stagnated or even declined. However, in 1996 the
domestic wheat supply for food increased again.
Utilization (in %)
distribution of wheat utilization indicates, that significantly less wheat was used for
seed in recent years than in the 1960s. The proportion used for seed declined from about
20% of the total domestic supply to some 5%. This indicates that seed production became
more efficient. Contrary to arguments of some authors, the percentage of wheat used to
feed animals did not increase; also the percentage of waste remained essentially unchanged
For all charts: WHO (1999): FAOSTAT. Food Balance Sheets. Rome (data downloaded through
web) Note: /* Data include Taiwan (but not Hong Kong)