China cuts 2021/2022 corn forecast as pig prices remain low

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China has lowered its 2021/2022 estimates for consumption of corn used to make animal feed as hog prices stay low, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.

The official figure is closely watched as plunging prices of pigs in China, the world’s top producer and consumer, continued to weigh on demand for animal feed and also impacted global trade.

China’s 2021/22 feed consumption for corn was seen at 187 million tonnes, down 3 million tonnes from previous month’s forecast, according to a monthly crop report on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Expansion of hog production was expected to slow down as pig prices continued to stay at low levels, curbing feed consumption, the ministry said.

China’s hog prices have tumbled this year on increased supplies and over fears from fresh African swine fever outbreaks. While the government has moved to take measures to support prices, they stayed at relatively low levels.

China also lowered its estimates for both feed and industrial consumption for corn in the 2020/21 marketing year, respectively by 2 million tonnes from the previous year, on elevated prices of the grain, according to the monthly China Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (CASDE) report.

Feed consumption for corn in 2020/21 was seen at 180 million tonnes, while industrial demand for corn in the year was estimated at 80 million tonnes, according to the report.

Feed producers reduced the use of corn as alternative grains such as wheat and rice had obvious price advantage to replace corn. Corn processor also lowered operation rate at plants on falling margins, the ministry said.

The ministry raised its estimates China’s 2020/21 corn imports by 4 million tonnes, to 26 million tonnes, on significant rise in U.S. shipments.

Key numbers from the monthly CASDE report are below:

2019/2020

2020/21 September Estimate

2021/22 August Forecast

2021/22 September Forecast

Percentage change

Corn – crop year Oct-Sept

Planted acreage (mln hectares)

41.284

41.264

42.67

42.67

0.00%

Output (mln tonnes)

260.77

260.67

271.81

271.81

0.00%

Imports (mln tonnes)

7.6

26

20

20

0.00%

Consumption (mln tonnes)

278.3

282.16

293.7

290.7

-1.02%

Exports (mln tonnes)

0.01

0.02

0.02

0.02

0.00%

Balance (mln tonnes)

-9.94

-4.49

-1.91

-1.09

-42.93%

Soybean – crop year Oct-Sept

Planted acreage (mln hectares)

9.354

9.882

9.347

9.347

0.00%

Output (mln tonnes)

18.1

19.6

18.65

18.65

0.00%

Imports (mln tonnes)

98.53

98.6

102

102

0.00%

Consumption (mln tonnes)

108.6

113.26

119.08

119.08

0.00%

Exports (mln tonnes)

0.09

0.06

0.15

0.15

0.00%

Balance (mln tonnes)

7.94

4.88

1.42

1.42

0.00%

Cotton – crop year Sept-Aug

Beginning stocks (mln tonnes)

7.21

7.36

7.64

7.64

0.00%

Planted acreage (mln hectares)

3.3

3.17

3.107

3.107

0.00%

Output (mln tonnes)

5.8

5.91

5.73

5.73

0.00%

Imports (mln tonnes)

1.6

2.8

2.5

2.5

0.00%

Consumption (mln tonnes)

7.23

8.4

8.2

8.2

0.00%

Exports (mln tonnes)

0.03

0.03

0.03

0.03

0.00%

Ending Stocks (mln tonnes)

7.36

7.64

7.65

7.65

0.00%

Sugar – crop year Oct-Sept

Planted acreage (mln hectares)

1.38

1.453

1.388

1.388

0.00%

Cane

1.165

1.191

1.205

1.205

0.00%

Beet

0.215

0.262

0.183

0.183

0.00%

Output (mln tonnes)

10.41

10.67

10.31

10.31

0.00%

Cane sugar

9.02

9.13

9.17

9.17

0.00%

Beet sugar

1.39

1.54

1.14

1.14

0.00%

Imports (mln tonnes)

3.76

5.6

4.57

4.57

0.00%

Consumption (mln tonnes)

15

15.5

15.5

15.5

0.00%

Exports (mln tonnes)

0.18

0.18

0.18

0.18

0.00%

Balance (mln tonnes)

-1

0.59

-0.8

-0.8

0.00%

Edible oils – crop year Oct-Sept

Output (mln tonnes)

28.3

28.51

29.57

29.57

0.00%

Soybean oil

17.01

16.95

17.67

17.67

0.00%

Rapeseed

5.69

5.71

6.01

6.01

0.00%

Peanut oil

3.28

3.39

3.47

3.47

0.00%

Imports (mln tonnes)

9.35

10.23

8.5

8.5

0.00%

Palm oil

4.79

5

4.2

4.2

0.00%

Rapeseed

1.9

2

1.9

1.9

0.00%

Soybean oil

0.86

0.8

0.6

0.6

0.00%

Consumption (mln tonnes)

34.21

35.54

35.54

35.54

0.00%

Exports (mln tonnes)

0.27

0.27

0.27

0.27

0.00%

Balance (mln tonnes)

3.17

2.93

2.26

2.26

0.00%