June 8, 2011

China projects 2011-12 corn imports at 1.6 million tonnes


China expects to import around 1.6 million tonnes of corn in 2011-12, the deputy director of China's national grain and oils information centre said Tuesday (Jun 7).

Speaking on the sidelines of the International Grains Council conference, Weilu Yang said China needed two things to prompt corn imports - international prices to fall below domestic prices and demand to outstrip supply.

The information centre expects supply and demand to be close to balanced in 2011-12.

China has a history of building strategic stocks in food commodities.

The International Grains Council (IGC) forecasts Chinese imports at a higher level of around two million tonnes of corn, in line with the previous year.

Chinese corn stocks are expected to climb to 58.4 million tonnes in 2011-12, up from 57.1 million tonnes the previuos year, IGC forecasts showed.

In 2010 China became a net importer of corn for the first time in several years, causing speculation that the country may need greater supplies from the world market in future years, which Yang denied was the case.

"China's market demand does not support large imports," Yang said, adding the country could meet growing demand by improving its corn yields.

China's corn planted area is similar in size to the world's top producer the US but its output is around half due to lower yields.

"In 10 years China will be self-sufficient with regards to food grains," Yang said.

Video >

Follow Us