According to a USDA GAIN report, China expects a reduction in corn and wheat imports, while barley imports are increased as feed mills shift to substitute more sorghum with barley.
Corn production for MY2021/22 is forecast at 272 MMT, up by 11.3 MMT from last year due to higher planting area leading to high yields. The increased acreage is attributed to a mix of high prices and government policies encouraging or mandating the planting of additional corn acreage.
MY2021/22 wheat imports are forecast at 8 MMT, 2 MMT lower than USDA estimates. Reduced wheat imports are attributed to increased wheat production and improved seeds. On April 20, MARA stated that winter wheat area grew by 200,000 hectares. Besides upscaled production, rise in grain prices and shipping costs have contributed to reduced importation.
Feed demand for sorghum is currently weak. Feed grain sorghum consumption for MY2021/22 is forecast at 7.9 MMT, 2.6 MMT lower than the USDA forecast, as cheaper barley is expected to displace it in feed rations – increasing barley imports. For barley, the production forecast for MY2021/22 is lowered by 40,000 tons as some barley area has been planted to corn. Barley imports are increased to 10.5 MMT.
According to China Feed Industry Association, the feed production from January to May 2021 has been highest for pigs due to the observed recovery from ASF.
Following the outbreaks of ASF from 2018 to 2020, MARA stated that the recovery of the pig industry has not reached the pre-African Swine Fever levels seen in 2017. As reported earlier, in late 2020 a resurgence of ASF reduced China’s breeding herd. Due to fear of ASF and high feed costs, it is reported that some producers are delaying restocking. Which is negatively impacting feed use and importation of feed grains.
China is working on its policies in an effort to manage prices, grain planting and storage levels.