China passed the US last year for the first time to become the biggest importer of agricultural products, while also increasing its exports, according to data by the World Trade Organization.
Imports, including food and beverages, rose 34 percent to $144.7 billion in 2011 from $108.3 billion in 2010, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data released by the Geneva-based trade body.
Exports gained 25 percent to $64.6 billion, beating Canada to become the sixth largest, the data show.
The country's rising population was highlighted as the reason for growth demand from soybeans, corn, feed livestock, powdered milk and sugar to make beverages.
Urbanization widened China's water and land shortages, further fueling a global rally in crops amplified by drought-reduced supply.
China Daily -Agencies
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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