April 11, 2016
Chinese corn farmers told to plant soybeans
China will encourage farmers to plant more soybeans in an effort to cut the corn area by over 600,000 hectares this year, China Daily reported.
China is struggling to reduce its huge stocks of corn accumulated under its corn stockpiling scheme, which has been in force for the past nine years. This has resulted in the artificial rise of corn prices by 30% to 50% above those of the global markets so that livestock growers had to resort to importing corn substitutes such as soybeans, sorghum, barley and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS).
In marketing year 2014-15 China remained as the world's largest importer of soybeans, and imports are forecast to rise 6% in the year to September 2016 on higher demand for animal feed, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Under a new guideline expected to be issued later this month, corn farmers will be encouraged to plant soybean, according to Pan Weibo, deputy director at the Department of Crop Production, which announced last week that China would put an end to its corn stockpiling scheme to reduce the surpluses and allow markets to set the prices.