China lowers forecast for 2017/18 corn output, says consumption to rise

China has lowered forecasts for corn output to 210 million tonnes in the 2017/18 crop year, down 2.37 million tonnes from the predictions last month, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

It said a committee from the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) also raised forecasts on industrial consumption of corn by 1.05 million tonnes to 61.3 million tonnes as a recent government plan to encourage the use of bioethanol gasoline will increase demand.

Years of support for corn farmers have left China with a substantial stockpile, and the country’s corn output stood at around 220 million tonnes last year, while stocks amounted to 230 million tonnes.

To help make use of the excess stock, China last month announced a plan for nationwide use of bioethanol gasoline by 2020.

China — the world’s third-largest bioethanol producer that uses nearly 2.6 million tonnes a year — launched corn-to-ethanol pilot programmes in 2004 as part of the efforts to cut emissions and advance new energy.

The MOA also raised forecasts on China’s soybean production to 14.94 million tonnes in the 2017/18 crop year and cotton output to 5.35 million tonnes.



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