Grain of truth at China's coalface

CHINA is demanding less coal and more wheat.

That's the key message from first-half trade data released on Monday by the Customs Bureau, which showed China's overall imports remained weak while exports were only marginally better.

China's imports of grain and flour surged 66.5 per cent to 16.3 million tonnes over the first six months of the year. The issue for China is not a lack of wheat - it is the world's biggest producer - but a lack of high-quality wheat.