October 7, 2003



USGC Projected Lesser Corn Exported from China in 2004


On Monday 6th October, the US Grains Council (USGC) officials said that China would produce a corn crop below 115 million tons in 2004, meaning fewer exports. The USGC estimate is lower than the USDA's latest figure of 118 million tons. Todd Meyer, USGC spokesman told farm reporters farmers in the major corn growing areas of China are looking at an average to a little below average crop. "After touring the areas that combine for about one-third of China's corn production, I'm estimating yields between 95-100 bushels per acre," said Meyer. "That's about what they were last year."


Chinese corn growers faced less than ideal growing conditions this year, as spring dryness which affected emergence of the crop was followed by a wetter and cooler than normal summer, said USGC.


Meanwhile, Meyer projected significantly lower Chinese corn exports for calendar year 2004.


"As the size and quality of the crop is known, less and less will be available for export," said Meyer. "We hear corn is getting harder to source."


Meyer added, "A reduction in exports could take a few months before the government decides on exports for calendar 2004."


With ample stocks available and unfavourable world prices, USGC officials don't expect China to import corn right away.


"Three million tons of privately held import quotas will be available January 1, 2004. We'll see what prices are then and see what is being used then," said Meyer.


The US doesn't seem likely to gain any export business from China. "No real significant US corn has gone to China since late 1996," said Meyer.


However, US corn growers may expand their export market as they supply corn for markets China cannot serve.
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