China 2013/14 wheat imports seen up 79 pct on year after crop damage-CNGOIC

BEIJING, July 11 Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:21pm EDT

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BEIJING, July 11 (Reuters) - China, the world's top wheat grower, is expected to import 5 million tonnes of the grain in 2013/14, up 79 percent from the previous year after its domestic harvest was damaged by bad weather, according to a forecast by an official think tank.

China bought more than 1.3 million tonnes of U.S. wheat in early July in a flurry of deals after U.S. prices fell to near the lowest levels in a year. The damage to China's harvest has kept local prices strong, spurring the call on imports. .

The China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC) revised upward the figure from its earlier estimate of 3.5 million tonnes for the year beginning June. (Reporting by Niu Shuping and Jonathan Standing; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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