China grain needs to grow through 2014

Country may need to import up to 7 million metric tons of corn

China’s grain requirement for feeding to farm livestock and aquaculture between October 2013 and September 2014 is set to grow by another 1.6 percent after an increase of nearly 2 percent in the current crop marketing year, according to information presented to the latest annual conference of the International Grains Council.

Xiaohui Wang, chief of market monitoring for the National Grain and Oilseeds Information Center (CNGOIC) in Beijing, told the meeting that 159.26 metric tons of feed grains have been used in China in 2012-2013 and usage in 2013-2014 is likely to rise to 161.75 million metric tons. 

The 124 million metric tons of maize used in Chinese feeds in 2012-2013 compared with just 83 million metric tons in marketing year 2003-2004, said Wang. Over those 10 years, while corn use grew at a rate of 4.6 percent per year, expansion in China’s livestock and poultry sector prompted national feed production and consumption to grow by 9 percent annually. 

The progression for feed in 2013 was slowed during the early months of the year by an outbreak of H7N9 avian influenza that caused illness and deaths among people who had contact with live poultry. Although sales of chickens and eggs fell in certain parts of the country and this affected the demand for poultry feeds, Wang told the meeting that the situation was recovering and would be unlikely to impact strongly on annual feed figures

The conference also heard a forecast from International Grains Council analysts that China may need to import as much as 7 million metric tons of maize in the 12 months to June 2014, compared with 4 million metric tons in 2012-2013. Wang’s presentation included a CNGOIC view that China’s annual corn imports between October 2012 and September 2013 will have amounted to 2.7 million metric tons, but the amount could almost double to 5 million metric tons in the next marketing year as the demand for use in feed and food rises faster than domestic production.