China cuts estimates for 2021/22 corn consumption on slowing demand

BEIJING, Jan 12 (Reuters) – China’s agriculture ministry has lowered its estimates for 2021/22 corn consumption because of slowing demand from both the feed sector and industrial users, it said on Wednesday.

The country’s 2021/22 corn consumption was seen at 287.7 million tonnes, down from 290.7 million tonnes estimated in the previous month, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in its monthly crop report.

The ministry saw feed consumption of corn in the year at 186 million tonnes, down from its December estimate at 187 million tonnes, as falling pig prices curbed restocking while increased grains imports slowed down demand for corn, according to the report.

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It also lowered estimates for industrial consumption for corn in 2021/22 to 80 million tonnes, down 2 million tonnes from December estimate, as processors cut operation rate on falling profits due to high corn prices, while inventories of end products at the plants built up amid weak demand, the report said.

The ministry’s estimates for China’s 2021/22 soybean acreage, output and consumption remained unchanged from last month, according to the Chinese Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (CASDE).

China will stabilise corn production and expand soybean output in the new year to ensure grain security, the agriculture minister said in late December, following the annual rural work conference, a top policy meeting where central party leadership set overarching guidelines for the agricultural sector. read more

Farmers in the northeastern region, the country’s grain basket and top producer of corn and soybean, often choose between the two crops, whichever warrants better profits.

Key numbers from the monthly CASDE report are below:

* CASDE includes beginning and ending stocks for cotton, which Reuters assumes to include the cotton held by state reserves. Therefore, ending stocks cited in this table are the beginning stocks plus the latest year’s crop and imports, minus consumption and exports. For all other products, CASDE only includes the balance at the end of the crop year. This appears to be the result of the crop output plus imports minus consumption and exports.

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Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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