Note: This database is no longer being updated.

Scope of Database

The database includes data items relevant to assessing the supply and demand for major agricultural commodities in China. The items are selected by ERS and are a small subset of the official statistics published by the Chinese government. The database includes only official statistics published by the Chinese government. In some cases, they may differ from Chinese statistics in other USDA statistical publications or databases.

Data Sources

Most data are published by the China National Bureau of Statistics (NBS, China's official statistical agency) in the annual China Statistical Abstract, China Statistical Yearbook, Rural Statistical Yearbook, Rural Household Survey Yearbook, Urban Household Survey Yearbook, and China Monthly Economic Indicators. NBS conducted agricultural censuses that provide benchmark data on rural employment, cultivated land, and livestock for 1996 and 2006. Some statistics on minor crops are obtained from the China Ministry of Agriculture, China Agricultural Statistics Summary (Zhongguo Nongye Tongji Ziliao). Food consumption, per capita food expenditure, and household income statistics are estimated by NBS from rural and urban household surveys. Food consumption data are annual average per capita amounts consumed by rural households and purchased by urban households.

The data are based on household surveys and administrative reporting. Users should be aware that methods and definitions have changed over time, creating major discontinuities in some data series. Occasionally, data are revised. In 2006, China revised gross domestic product (GDP) statistics upward. The 2008 update of the ERS database replaced historical livestock, GDP and employment figures with revised estimates published in current editions of Chinese statistical yearbooks. Livestock and meat statistics for 2000-06 were revised following results from a new agricultural census for the year 2006 that showed smaller livestock inventories and output than was previously estimated. Some crop statistics for 2006 were also revised after the census.

Cultivated land area statistics were revised upward for 1996 after China's first agricultural census was conducted in 1997. Livestock inventories and production were revised downward after the 1996 census. Livestock and cultivated land area statistics for years prior to 1996 are included in the database although they may be inaccurate.

See Data Sources for information on which sources were used for various data series.

For more information on China statistics, see:

China's Food and Agriculture: Issues for the 21st Century

Data for 2009 were obtained from 2010 editions of yearbooks as follows:

Data item Source
Crop production China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-15.
Crop area China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-13.
Soybean production and area Rural Statistical Yearbook, tables 7-7 and 7-25.
Peach and strawberry production and area China Agriculture Yearbook
Livestock inventories and slaughter China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-18; Rural Statistical Yearbook, table 7-38.
Livestock products output China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-19.
Aquatic products output China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-10.
Poultry slaughter Rural Statistical Yearbook, tables 7-38.
Cultivated land area China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-3.
Gross output value of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-4.
Total power of agricultural machinery China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-5.
Agricultural employment (primary industry) China Statistical Yearbook, table 4-3.
Irrigated area China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-8.
Fertilizer use China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-6.
Electricity consumed in rural areas China Statistical Yearbook, table 13-6.
Food consumption per capita, urban China Statistical Yearbook, table 10-9.
Food consumption per capita, rural China Statistical Yearbook, table 10-29; Rural Household Survey Yearbook.
Per capita living expenditures, urban China Statistical Yearbook, table 10-5.
Per capita living expenditures and income, rural China Statistical Yearbook, table 10-18, 10-24; Rural Household Survey Yearbook.
Prices China Statistical Yearbook, tables 9-3, 9-4, 9-7, 9-8, 9-9, 9-11.
Industrial output China Statistical Yearbook, table 14-22.
Gross domestic product China Statistical Yearbook, table 2-1.
Total population China Statistical Yearbook, tables 3-1.

Data Items

For the national level, the database contains 250 data items:

  • Major crops: production and sown area.
  • Livestock: inventory, slaughter, and output of meat.
  • Agricultural inputs.
  • Food and agricultural price indexes.
  • Urban and rural per capita food consumption.
  • Industrial output of selected products.
  • Selected macroeconomic data.

At the provincial level (45 data items):

  • Crops: production and sown area, 1979-2005.
  • Livestock production, various years.
  • Value of agricultural output, 1999-2005.
  • Rural, city, and town population, 2000 (census).
  • Total population, 1982-2005.


Most items are reported in standard units such as kilograms, hectares, and Chinese yuan. All references to tons are metric tons (1,000 kg.) Users should be aware that many items are reported in 10,000s or 100 millions.