China 2021 corn output to rise 4.3% y/y to 272 mln tonnes – govt think tank
China’s 2021 corn output is forecast to rise 4.3% from the previous year to 272 million tonnes, a government think tank said on Friday, in the first estimate by an official agency for the crop to be harvested later this year.
Corn acreage in 2021 is expected to increase 3.3% from the previous year to 42.63 million hectares (105.3 million acres), China National Grain & Oils Information Center (CNGOIC) also said in a statement published on its official WeChat account.
The estimates come after China’s domestic corn prices hit record highs amid tighter supplies of the grain.
China has cut corn acreage in recent years to reduce state stockpiles and boost output of other crops like soybeans.
But it said earlier this year that corn acreage would increase in 2021 as temporary reserves of corn had dwindled, while typhoons hurt output in 2020.
“Corn prices have risen so significantly, while corn is a high-yield crop. Of course farmers would increase acreage to increase their income,” said Meng Jinhui, a senior analyst with Shengda Futures.
“The national policy is also shifting. Incentives on soybeans are not as (strong) as a couple years ago,” Meng said.
China’s 2021 soybean output is expected to fall 6.1% from 2020 to 18.4 million tonnes, while acreage of the oilseed is seen dropping 6.9% to 9.2 million hectares, according to CNGOIC.
The forecasts follow China’s reiteration in a cabinet meeting on Thursday of its policy to boost grain security.
“Guaranteeing grain security for the 1.4 billion people in China will be a great contribution to the world,” Prime Minister Li Keqiang said during the meeting, according to a statement on the website of Chinese cabinet.
Li urged stronger protection for arable land, improvements in the quality of rice and wheat, and an increase in the oil ratio in soybeans, according to the statement.
China’s 2021 wheat output was seen up 1.6% from the previous year at 136.4 million tonnes, while rice output was seen up 1.5% at 215 million tonnes, according to CNGOIC.
China was expected to produce 14.5 million tonnes of rapeseed in 2021, up 2.8% from the previous year, the government think tank said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton. Editing by Tom Hogue and Mark Potter)