China will need to import 2 million tons of U.S. corn by next year even though the country expects a record harvest this year, said the U.S. Grains Council.
The Department of Agriculture estimates China, the second-largest corn consumer, will import 2 millions tons of corn by the end of 2012, whereas private estimates put imports at up to 10 million tons. After conducting its annual survey of China’s corn farms, the USGC estimated the country’s corn harvest this year to grow 5.7 percent year-over-year to 184 million tons.
“China has drawn down its stocks below its comfort level, which is roughly 25 percent,” said Nebraska Corn Board Executive Director Don Hutchens, who took part in the USGC's China tour. “The council believes the 2011 production will provide for 14-16 percent ending stocks.”
U.S. agriculture had the led the country’s exporting charge, with American farmers on target to send $135.5 billion of their products abroad this year. That’s 17 percent higher than in 2012, and at a value nearly double of exports in the last five years.