The U.S. ag attache in China has lowered its estimates of the country's 2013-14 corn and wheat crops and left its import forecasts unchanged. The attache lowered its corn crop estimate by 1 MMT to 210 MMT, 1 MMT below USDA's current peg. The attache trimmed its wheat crop estimate by 3 MMT to 118 MMT, which is 3 MMT below USDA's current estimate.
The attache says it lowered corn acreage due to cold and rainy weather during planting in Heilongjing, which offset a slight increase in acreage in the north China plain. Acreage is still projected to rise by 2% from the previous year and good weather increased crop quality. Regarding trade, the attache says imports are expected at 7 MMT, which is up from 2.7 MMT the previous year. "To capitalize on low U.S. corn prices, some feed mills have reportedly already contracted for shipments to arrive in the first half of 2014 based on quotas that will not be allocated until 2014. Due to strong domestic production and relatively high corn stocks in the northeast, the government is unlikely to allocate 2013-14 TRQ (tariff-rate quota) imports above the annual TRQ commitment of 7.2 MMT," says the attache.
The attache says a reduction in yields led to the lower wheat production estimate. It left its wheat import forecast unchanged at 9.5 MMT, which is up from 2.96 MMT the previous year.