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News 174 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Higher demands boost Chinese maize

China, the world's second-biggest corn producer, would aim for at least 26.67 million hectares of corn in 2010 (150 million tons), said Chen Mengshan, director of the Planting Management Bureau with the Ministry of Agriculture. This is needed to meet the booming demand for animal feed and industrial use.

The ministry would encourage farmers to plant high-yield maize breeds, improve planting techniques, fertilization and use more modern technology and machinery. Chen said the output per hectare would increase to 5.63 tons in 2010 from an average 5.25 tons last year, compared with nine tons in the United States.

Increasing demand
China's maize consumption has risen rapidly in recent years, boosted by increasing demand for livestock and industrial use. "China should be more self-reliant in maize supply as international maize exports are declining," he said. Maize prices have risen sharply since 2006 as large amounts were brought up to produce ethanol against a backdrop of record international oil prices.

China's farmers are expected to plant 27.35 million hectares of maize this year, slightly higher than the 27.05 million hectares in 2006, according to the China National Grain and Oils Information Center. The center predicted the nation's annual corn consumption for 2006-2007 would reach 144.5 million tons, while output would be 144 million tons.

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