June 30, 2015
China to cut corn acreage in 2016: agriculture minister
China, the world's second biggest corn producer in 2014, has apparently reached the zenith of its corn storages.
As part of efforts to trim down burgeoning supplies, the country plans to reduce corn acreage next year and promote cultivations of beans, forage grass and other coarse grains, Chinese agriculture minister, Han Changfu, said.
In addition, more corn for silage would be grown for animal feed. The move, according to a chief analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. Ltd. (JCI), is China's long-term strategy to support the expansion of the animal husbandry industry. It will not, however, mitigate the overflow of corn stocks "in the short term" as another bumper harvest could come this year, the analyst added.
Meanwhile, areas expected to be affected by reductions are four northeast provinces, including Heilongjiang and Jilin, in China, which covered about 40% of the national total for corn production, Reuters reported.
As the country intends to emphasise more on food safety as well as dealing with rural environmental issues, it will not pursue bumper grain harvests due to weakening soil and water resources, government officials said.
"We have to fully realise the importance and urgency in pushing forward the adjustment," Han stated, keeping mum on the amount of acreage reduction.
China's grain stockpile programme triggered a significant increase of local corn prices to more than 30% above international rates while also motivating more plantings in the country.
Before the local harvest in October, China could be left with more than 120 million tonnes of corn, analysts claimed.