CHINA- China’s grain output reached a new record of 68.7 billion metric tons (MT) in 2022, new estimates from The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published have revealed.

For the market year (MY) 2022/23, Corn production in MY2022/23 is forecasted at 277.2 MMT, up 1.7 percent from last year indicating a better harvest in the North China Plain, according to a report by USDA.

According to the report, China’s MY2022/23 grains for feed and residual use are forecast to remain stable with little change from MY2021/22 while the forecast for overall feed production should increase slightly.

However, despite the official reports of a bumper harvest, fourth quarter 2022 local corn prices remained high at U.S. $404 (RMB 2,827) per MT, up 3.3 percent quarter-on-quarter, or up 12.5 percent from October 2021.

Post forecasts MY2022/23 corn demand for industrial use to fall from MY2021/22 following a 10% decline in capacity for corn starch operations.

On imports, china is forecast to import fewer volumes of corn in MY2022/2023 than in MY2021/2022.

Currently, the country holds contracts for 3.7 MMT of U.S. corn for delivery in MY2022/23, 70 percent less than the same time last year. Post forecasts MY2022/23 corn imports at 18 MMT, the same as USDA’s official estimate.

Wheat production adjusted upwards

Wheat production, on the other hand, for MY 2022/23 is adjusted to 137.7 MMT, up 0.6 percent or 0.8 MMT from last year owing to better yield.

Post’s MY2022/23 and MY2021/22 wheat consumption for feed and fodder are both 5 MMT lower than previous estimates and in line with USDA’s January update.

The decline is due to a short stumble caused by COVID-19 waves spreading through China in November and December.

However, local wheat prices resumed upward to U.S. $471 (RMB 3,300) per MT in December, close to a 20 percent jump from early 2022.

Milled rice production in MY 2022/23 is slashed to 146 MMT, down by 2 percent from last year owing to both lower planting area and yields, because of drought on mid and late-season crops.

According to China Customs data, from January to November 2022, China imported 5.7 MMT of rice, an increase of 32.2 percent year-on-year.

According to the report, most import growth was driven by low-priced broken rice from India (2 MMT, up 101 percent), Pakistan (650,079 MT, up 88 percent), and Thailand (203,668 MMT, up 31 percent).

Rice imports forecast for MY2022/23 are decreased to 5.2 MMT, 300,000 MT lower than Post’s September estimate on lower Indian and Pakistan rice output and India’s broken rice export ban that was issued in September.

On sorghum, China’s sorghum consumption is expected to decline following forecasted low imports from the US attributed to low production and disadvantageous prices in the US.

Globally, increased flexibility in grain substitution in the feed formulas and liquor industries over the last several years is also making procurement of sorghum even more price-driven creating a shortage for the crop.

There are no changes for barley production, supply, and distribution figures for MY2020/21, MY2021/22, or MY2022/23 following more import options in Australia, Russia, and Canada.

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