November 10, 2009


China New Hope plans to increase corn imports


China's largest feed mill, New Hope Group, plans to purchase more corn from Thailand or other Southeast Asian countries if prices are favourable.


The new procurement interest came as supplies were tightened in some areas due to logistical problems, particularly in the southwest province of Sichuan where the company is based.


Rainy and foggy weather in the corn growing regions in the north had delayed transport out of the region while farmers were also reluctant to sell in large volumes in anticipation of higher prices due to Beijing's stockpiling programme.


Meanwhile, the tight supply situation had pushed up corn prices in Sichuan as well as other areas in the south, with prices rising more than three percent over the past week to reach RMB1,900 (US$278.3) per tonne.


The company, which used more than 10 million tonnes of corn annually, has retained 10,000 tonnes of import quotas which are valid for the end of the year after returning a majority of its unused quotas to the government in September.