BEIJING — The projection of China’s corn consumption from October 2017 to September 2018 has been revised up to 224 million tons on forecasts of higher industrial consumption, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
The figure is 1.5 million tons higher than the February projection, but the average wholesales price in the domestic market is expected to remain in the range of 1,600 yuan per ton to 1,700 yuan per ton, said the Chinese Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates in March.
Issued by the Chinese Agriculture Outlook Committee, an advisory body on market information under the ministry, the monthly analysis attributed the price stability to the continuous oversupply in the domestic market as the corn inventory remains high.
With corn reserves to be auctioned soon, market supply will continue to increase and check the upward pressure on prices triggered by higher industrial consumption, according to the report.
Industrial consumption has grown as processing enterprises successively resumed their production after the Lantern Festival, which fell on March 2.
The capacity of corn processing factories being used has been better than expected, and industrial consumption for corn processing is expected to grow, it said.
In February, the committee predicted that China’s corn imports for the statistical period would be around 1.5 million tons, up by 300,000 tons from the projection a month earlier.
Statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs showed that 2.83 million tons of corn was imported in 2017.
The report also projected soybean imports of 95.97 millions tons for the 12 months ending in September 2018. China’s actual soybean imports hit 95.53 million tons in 2017, the highest in the world.
Projection for China’s total soybean consumption in the statistical period remains unchanged at 110.56 million tons.
Over the same period, China’s cotton imports are expected to be 1.10 million tons while domestic cotton consumption is projected at 8.22 million tons.
The country’s consumption of edible vegetable oil was predicted at 33.56 million tons, with 6.03 million tons to be purchased overseas, said the report.
The committee also revised down China’s sugar output in the statistical period by 50,000 tons to 10.3 million tons, while sugar exports were revised up to 120,000 tons as relevant transit trade was expected to grow.