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China running low on corn, executive says

DJ UPDATE: Grain Executive: China Running Low On Corn Reserves
Chuin-Wei Yap - DJ - 1 hr 57 mins ago

(Adds government reductions in auction volumes, context, corn prices)

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China's corn reserves are down sharply compared
with last year, making it more difficult for the government to control
corn prices, a senior grain industry executive told an industry
conference in comments posted Tuesday on a website owned by state
stockpiler Sinograin Corp.

"Although China's grain reserves are sufficient, its corn reserves
have declined by a wide margin compared with last year," said Zheng
Chunfeng, chief executive of Dalian Northern Grains Exchange Market Co.

Harsh weather conditions have cut into China's food security, a top
priority for Beijing, triggering unprecedented levels of U.S. corn
imports this year and threatening to break the country's six-year streak
of record-level consecutive harvests.

While Zheng didn't specify percentages, he said that all of China's
corn reserves stored in 2008 have been sold and that the country's corn
reserves were currently "insufficient."

"This will certainly increase the difficulty the country faces in managing the corn market," he said.

China's corn consumption is rising by 3 million-5 million metric tons a year, outpacing supply, he added.

Zheng's speech was delivered last Friday.

The government has sharply reduced the amount of corn sold at a
regular auction in Anhui province to 400,000 tons, down from the 1
million tons it used to offer, according to another report posted Monday
on Sinograin's China Grains Network website.

Corn futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 0.3% Tuesday to
settle at CNY2,041/ton, slowing slightly from a 1.2% gain posted Monday.

-By Chuin-Wei Yap, Dow Jones Newswires; 8610 8400 7704; chuin-wei.yap@dowjones.com.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 17, 2010 06:07 ET (10:07 GMT)

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