October 29, 2008


China corn prices remain steady


Corn prices in China were mostly stabilized in the week to Wednesday, with processors purchasing despite the increasing supplies from the new harvest.


Corn prices in Heilongjiang province, a major production base in the northeast were quoted around RMB 1,480 / tonne with not much change from a week ago.


The price in Jilin province, another producing region, was slightly higher than Heilongjiang at RMB 1,500 / tonne, but also unchanged from a week earlier.


An analyst in Beijing said trading was relatively subtle as the total amount set by the central government for the state reserves is only 5 million tonnes.


The National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning body, said Monday, 20 October 2008, the government had begun purchasing corn at RMB 1,500 / tonne in the major producing region in the northeast for the state reserves.


Corn futures traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange have fallen by around 18 percent since the beginning of July and analysts said the government's move to purchase corn was targeted at supporting prices and protecting farmer's income.


Corn prices in the major producing regions will be supported until the state warehouses complete the purchase reserves said analysts.


New corn was being quoted around RMB1,120 - RMB1,140 / tonne in Jilin province.


A trader in Jilin province said processors bought slightly more in the past week than previously, fearful of higher prices in the future, despite the relatively cascading demand. As it takes some time before the state reserve warehouses get bank loans to buy the corn, the processors took the advantage of the relatively lower prices.


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