January 20, 2021

China corn imports in 2020 hit new record


China's General Administration of Customs data showed the country's corn imports reached 11.3 million tonnes last year, a record high following tight domestic corn supplies resulting in surging prices and increased demand for cheaper imports of the commodity, Reuters reported.


The data showed December 2020 corn imports was 2.25 million tonnes.


The 11.3 million tonnes imported in 2020 were more than double 2019's volume and exceeded China's annual quota for the first time. The quota is 7.2 million tonnes.


China only used 67% of its annual quota for corn in 2019.


China buyers and analysts said imports are projected to remain high this year thanks to a recovering swine industry and tight domestic corn supplies.


A manager with a major feed and pig producer in southern China told Reuters that they will continue to import corn, wheat, and barley as domestic corn prices are too expensive.


Corn futures in China increased 40% in the past two months and hit record highs last week.


One source with a global shipping company told Reuters that China's corn imports for the 2020/21 marketing year will surpass 30 million tonnes.


- Reuters