China corn output to hit record high

Updated: 2013-10-09 10:08


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CHANGCHUN -- China's corn production could hit a record high of 215 million tons in 2013 despite drought and flooding in the country's major breadbaskets, according to estimates by two industry organizations.

This year's corn output is about 7 million tons more than last year's harvest of 208 million tons, figures from both the State Administration of Grain (SAG) and China National Association of Grain Sector (CAGS) show.

The harvest comes after severe drought in the south and flooding in the northeast. Some of the worst floods in decades left at least 85 dead in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces, causing crop failure and losses of billions of yuan.

Drought hit several southern provinces this summer, bringing serious shortages of drinking water for millions and the destruction of large areas of cropland.

The bumper harvest means rising corn stocks at a time when demand is slack, agricultural experts say.

"We predict consumption (of corn) will be 197.5 million tons in the year from 2013 to 2014, about 14 million tons below output," said Liu Xiaoran, deputy secretary-general of CAGS's corn branch.

"The corn supply exceeds demand as both stocks and imports are high, while the weak economy has also affected the demand for corn for processing," said Li Tong, an analyst with Zhengzhou Grain Wholesale Market in central China's Henan province.

China imported 1.75 million tons corn in 2011 and 5.2 million tons in 2012, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs

Liu said the pressure from excessive supply and rising imports would further lower the corn prices in the domestic market.

Spot price for corn in Chinese market is currently standing at 2,400 yuan ($392) per ton.

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