In this morning's World Supply & Demand Report, USDA raised its estimate of China's 2012-13 corn crop to 195 million metric tons (MMT), up 2.2 MMT from last month and above the previous year's revised estimate of 192.8 MMT.
USDA raised estimated area by 1% from last month to 34.3 million hectares, nearly 3% above last year. "Increased demand for feed grain and high corn prices have led to a remarkable expansion of corn area in the past few years, mainly at the expense of soybean area," states the report.
The forecast yield of 5.69 tons per hectare is essentially unchanged from last month but down 1.5% from last year’s record yield. "The growing conditions have been generally favorable for the spring-sown crop in Northeast China. However, unusually warm and dry weather on parts of the June 2012 5 North China Plain in May has caused concern for the summer corn crop which will be planted after the winter wheat harvest in June," states USDA. "Additional rain is needed to provide adequate moisture for timely planting and proper germination."
Meanwhile, USDA says China's soybean crop will be the smallest in 20 years at 12.6 MMT, down 0.5 MMT from last month and 7% below the previous year. Total soybean area was revised this month to 7.2 million hectares, down 0.3 million or 4% from last month and down nearly 6% from last year. "Most of this reduction took place in Heilongjiang, China’s most important soybean province," says USDA. "Farmers there have reportedly reduced soybean area this year in favor of allocating more land to corn and rice, which have been much more profitable in recent years. The forecast yield of 1.75 tons per hectare is unchanged from last month and 4% above the 5-year average."
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