The U.S. ag attache in China left its forecast for 2011-12 corn imports unchanged at 5.5 million metric tons (MMT), but says 2012-13 corn imports are expected to rise to 7 MMT due to rising livestock and industrial consumption. It also says additional government purchase may be possible if imported corn prices remain competitive.
"Moreover, greater U.S. exportable supplies of corn may also further widen the price differential. The Chinese government is expected to continue importing to restock the strategic reserves," it says.
The attache sees 2012-13 Chinese corn production at 192.0 MMT, down marginally from the previous year. "Due to lower profit margins for soybeans and cotton in the Northeast and North China Plain, farmers are expected to increase corn acreage by 2%," it says.