China forecasts corn imports at decade low


According to Reuters, China’s recent forecast of a drop in corn imports to their lowest in at least a decade may end a years-long bonanza for global merchants and producers as maize prices in the world’s biggest grains market have dropped below global prices.

In its monthly crop report, the Ministry of Agriculture forecast imports for the 2016-17 crop year that ends in September as low as 800,000 tons, down 200,000 from last month’s estimate. That would be down from 3.2 million tons for the calendar year 2016 and a third of the average for the past decade.

Other estimates, however, point to higher imports for the year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects imports at 3 million tons and state think-tank National Grain and Oils Information Center estimates 2 million tons.

Still, the drop reflects the waning appetite for foreign grain after the government abandoned its long-standing price support program last year.

Such a large drop will likely spook global merchants and producers that enjoyed a prolonged boon in business as the world’s second-largest economy scooped up foreign crops to feed its growing urban population and livestock. (Source: Reuters)

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