CASDE: China’s corn import estimates raised 20% on sorghum investigation

8 Feb 2018 | Tim Worledge

Fallout from China’s investigation into subsidies in US sorghum exports is expected to boost China’s imports of corn by 20%, the February release of China’s Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates revealed Thursday.

Corn imports were increased 300,000 mt to 1.5 million mt with the report citing the investigation into sorghum as the reason for the hike, while an increase in pig breeding saw the overall corn demand increased.

Overall corn demand was revised upwards to 222.11 million mt, an increase of 1.15 million mt versus the January estimate, with the entire increase coming in the feed corn demand section.

Food, industrial and seed demand were left unchanged at 7.89 million mt, 63 million mt and 1.59 million mt.

The changes take the net balance – the difference between an anticipated crop size of 215.89 million mt minus total consumption – to a 5.2 million mt deficit.

The investigation into alleged US sorghum subsidies, announced on Sunday February 4, is expected to run for at least a year with market sources tipping the corn market to benefit from sorghum’s fall from grace.

Corn competes with sorghum as a feed, biofuel feedstock and in other areas.