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Chinese buying more spring wheat

BISMARCK -- China is buying more U.S.

BISMARCK -- China is buying more U.S. hard red spring wheat, North Dakota's staple crop, the state Wheat Commission says.

Purchases have reached nearly 11 million bushels in the 2003-04 marketing year, the largest amount since 1991-92 and a sizable jump from 1.7 million bushels last year, said Neal Fisher, the commission's administrator.

"In previous decades, when China purchased wheat from the United States, price was given far greater consideration than quality, so they tended to purchase large quantities of hard and soft red winter wheat," he said.

Now, quality is more of a factor because the country's economy is becoming more market-driven, Fisher said.

Last fall, a delegation representing five leading flour mills in China visited North Dakota to get a firsthand look at the spring wheat crop.

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