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.
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
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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