June 23, 2011


USGC: China's 2011 corn imports may hit five million tonnes


China is expected to import up to five million tonnes of corn in 2011, the US Grains Council said on Wednesday (Jun 22).


Speaking on the sidelines of the Agriculture Investment Summit, USGC president and CEO Thomas Dorr said China had already purchased around 1.25 million tonnes of corn this year and was expected to meet the bulk of its 2011 import needs from the coming 2011-12 new crop.


"We would not be surprised at all to see them import in calendar year 2011 three to five million tonnes," Dorr said, having attended the summit after a trip to China.


"Depending on their crop size they may take all of that and more again in the calendar year of 2012."


In 2010 China became a net importer of corn for the first time in several years, triggering speculation that it may have growing import needs in future years.


"China's near-term purchasing intentions are a matter of intense interest," Dorr said.


Earlier this month China's national grain and oils information centre said the country expects to import around 1.6 million tonnes of corn in 2011-12, with the aim of being self-sufficient in food grains within 10 years.


"China has major policy commitments to self-sufficiency but is now coming to grips with the fact that food security and food self-sufficiency are not necessarily synonymous," Dorr said.


The US grains council promotes the use of US corn, barley and sorghum.


Dorr said India was another emerging opportunity for corn exporters as the country was expected to become a net importer by 2015.


The US is the world's largest corn producer.

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