(Bloomberg) -- Cold weather in China this week could seriously damage the rapeseed crop, just as Beijing struggles to grow more of the oilseed to boost security of food supplies.

Freezing rain and snow may hurt plant stalks and make the crop more susceptible to fungus disease, China-based commodity consultancy Mysteel said in a report Thursday. As much as 30% of rapeseed crop in the top producing provinces of Hunan and Hubei might be seriously damaged, it said. 

China, the biggest soybean importer, wants to expand production of oilseeds to cut reliance on overseas supplies and Beijing has pledged to increase rapeseed output this year. Any severe weather damage would frustrate that plan. 

Cold snaps could cause freeze damage to rapeseed crops in some of the main production regions along the Yangzte river, China’s meteorological administration said in a report this week. 

Heavy snow could also damage some greenhouses and affect livestock production in provinces including Shandong and Henan, while low temperatures and rains could affect some winter wheat in southern China, it said.

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