News last update:6 Aug 2012

China soon to become net corn importer

China is becoming a net corn importer as a result of robust domestic demand from the corn deep processing sector.

The nation's corn exports stood at 2.27 million tons in the first three quarters of this year, 68.3% less than last year. Imports on the other hand reached 60,000 tons, up 43 times year-on-year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce.

More processing facilities

Boosted by rising oil prices, many grain enterprises have built processing facilities in China's major corn producing provinces. The growing capability will drive domestic demand even higher and is likely to turn China into a net corn importer in the coming years, insiders said. The change is largely contributed to increasing industrial processing, but it is not expected to change in 2007 because China's corn supply still exceeds demand.

More corn used in future

There are over 10 corn deep processing plants in Northeast China's Jilin Province, with a total annual processing capacity of 6 million tons, said Jiang Jianhua, deputy general manager of Jilin-based Jiliang Group.
Over 25 million tons of corn was used in deep processing in 2005 in China, compared with 13.8 million tons in 2004. The figure jumped to 15.6 million tons in the first half of this year.
It is estimated that by 2008, facilities in Northeast China, the country's major corn-producing region, will annually consume around 15 million tons of corn.


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