March 8, 2011
China grain official urges corn export curb
China should restrict exports of corn as well as downstream products, including starch and alcohol to ensure ample corn supplies for feed mills, a senior grain official said.
Bao Kexin, the head of the China Grain Reserves Corporation (Sinograin) said that although the country's grain reserves were sufficient, corn stocks were an exception and had "outstanding problems."
The expansion of the corn processing industry as well as exports of corn products should be strictly controlled so as to maintain the country's grain security - a top priority for the government, Bao said.
"China has limited farmland. Corn shall be used mainly for animal feed and large volumes used for industry should not be allowed," Bao added.
Beijing has ordered some corn processing plants to stop buying from farmers in the corn areas in the northeast since late last year to make way for purchases by Sinograin.
But prices offered by Sinograin were lower than prices by processors, making it difficult for Sinograin to fill state silos.
Bao also urged Beijing to reduce exports of meat and eggs, which also affect grain demand as part of efforts to keep more for domestic consumption. China is not a major exporter of these products.