UPDATE 1-China cuts 2019 minimum purchase price for wheat for second year

(Adding more comments from state planner)

BEIJING, Nov 16 (Reuters) - China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said on Friday it had set the minimum purchasing price for wheat in 2019 at 112 yuan ($16.14) per 50 kg, or 2,240 yuan a tonne.

The price is down from this year’s 2,300 yuan per tonne and the second year in a row that the government has reduced its price support for wheat growers.

Beijing made the price adjustment to help whittle down the nation’s huge grain stocks, and to push farmers to grow more high quality crops, the NDRC, the country’s state economic planner, said in a separate statement published on its website on Friday.

China started adjusting its minimum purchase prices scheme for its grains in 2015, part of the nation’s overhaul of its vast agriculture sector.

Under the reform, Chinese farmers have grown more high-quality wheat and rice, according to the statement.

China buys wheat from farmers at the minimum price when the market price drops below that level.

$1 = 6.9398 yuan Reporting by Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger