Bloomberg News

China Corn Crop Won’t Meet Demand, U.S. Grains Council Says

October 04, 2011

(Updates with consumption, import and yield forecasts beginning in the second paragraph.)

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- China, the world’s second-biggest corn consumer, won’t have enough supplies to meet rising domestic demand even as farmers harvest a record crop, the U.S. Grains Council said after completing a 15th annual field tour.

Consumption may total 170.1 million metric tons (6.7 billion bushels) in the year that started Oct. 1, Thomas C. Dorr, the council’s president and chief executive officer, said today on a conference call with reporters. That would be the most ever and outpace domestic production, he said. Farmers may produce 166.6 million tons this year, up 5.6 percent from last season, Kevin Rempp, a member of the council’s Asian advisory team and an Iowa corn farmer, said on the call.

“China will still need to import corn,” Rempp said.

Before today, prices in Chicago jumped 27 percent in the past year as adverse weather threatened Midwest crops amid rising demand for supplies from the U.S., the biggest grower, consumer and exporter. China, the second-largest producer, may need to import 5 million to 10 million tons from global suppliers before the end of 2012 to replenish depleted inventories, Dorr said.

Farmers will harvest an average of 85.9 bushels of corn per acre from an estimated 76.35 million acres this year, up from an average yield of 84.7 bushels from 73.82 million acres, Rempp said today after sampling fields with U.S. and Chinese grain traders, government officials and other council members from Sept. 12 to Sept. 30.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast China’s production at 178 million tons this season, up 2.9 percent from a year earlier, and pegged consumption 6.1 percent higher at 182.5 million tons. Imports will climb 54 percent to 2 million tons, the USDA said on Sept 12. The department will update its global crop outlook on Oct. 12.

--Editors: Millie Munshi, Steve Stroth

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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