China raises corn import forecasts on large U.S. cargoes, lowers output

BEIJING, Sept 13 (Reuters) - China’s agriculture ministry raised its forecasts for corn imports for both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 crop years, on large arrivals from the United States, according to a report published on its website on Saturday.

It also lowered its outlook for corn output in the new crop year that starts in October and ends in September, 2021, after a typhoon hit some parts of the country’s northeastern cornbelt, according to a statement published on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Corn imports in the 2019/20 year were seen at 7 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from an August forecast, while 2020/21 corn imports were expected to total 7 million tonnes, up from the previous month’s estimate of 5 million tonnes, with a “significant increase” in U.S. cargoes, the ministry said.

China has been ramping up U.S. corn imports recently amid tightening domestic supplies and as Beijing strives to fulfil the Phase 1 trade deal the two countries signed in January this year.

Corn output in 2020/21 was seen at 265 million tonnes, down 1.8 million tonnes from the forecast in August, said the monthly Chinese Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (CASDE). China also lowered its forecast for edible oil output in 2020/21 to 27.65 million tonnes, on falling rapeseed imports and after rain affected quality and yields in some regions, according to the report.

Forecasts for soybean output, imports, and consumption in 2020/21 year remain the same.

Key numbers from the CASDE are below: 2018/ 2019/2020 2020/2021 2020/2021 Percentage 2019 September August September change Forecast( Forecast( Forecast(2 2019.9) 2020.8) 020.9) Corn - crop year Oct-Sept Planted 42.13 41.28 41.69 41.69 0.00% acreage (mln hectares) Output (mln 257.1 260.77 266.51 264.71 -0.68% tonnes) 7 Imports 4.48 7.00 5.00 7.00 40.00% (mln tonnes) Consumption 274.7 278.30 288.17 288.17 0.00% (mln 8 tonnes) Exports 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.00% (mln tonnes) Balance -13.1 -10.55 -16.68 -16.48 -1.20% (mln 5 tonnes) Soybean - crop year Oct-Sept Planted 8.40 93.54 9.60 9.60 0.00% acreage (mln hectares) Output (mln 16.00 18.10 18.82 18.82 0.00% tonnes) Imports 82.61 96.00 95.10 95.10 0.00% (mln tonnes) Consumption 102.9 108.60 113.12 113.12 0.00% (mln 3 tonnes) Exports 0.12 0.10 0.15 0.15 0.00% (mln tonnes) Balance -4.44 5.40 0.65 0.65 0.00% (mln tonnes) Cotton - crop year Sept-Aug Beginning 7.43 7.21 7.48 7.48 0.00% stocks (mln tonnes) Planted 3.37 3.30 3.21 3.21 0.00% acreage (mln hectares) Output (mln 6.04 5.80 5.68 5.85 2.99% tonnes) Imports 2.03 1.75 2.00 2.00 0.00% (mln tonnes) Consumption 8.24 7.23 7.80 7.80 0.00% (mln tonnes) Exports 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.00% (mln tonnes) Ending 7.21 7.48 7.32 7.49 2.32% Stocks (mln tonnes) Sugar - crop year Oct-Sept Planted 1.44 1.42 1.45 1.45 0.00% acreage (mln hectares) Cane 1.21 1.19 1.19 1.19 0.00% Beet 0.24 0.23 0.26 0.26 0.00% Output (mln 10.76 10.42 10.50 10.50 0.00% tonnes) Cane sugar 9.44 9.02 8.96 8.96 0.00% Beet sugar 1.32 1.39 1.54 1.54 0.00% Imports 3.24 3.04 3.50 3.50 0.00% (mln tonnes) Consumption 15.20 14.80 15.20 15.20 0.00% (mln tonnes) Exports 0.19 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.00% (mln tonnes) Balance -1.40 -1.52 -1.38 -1.38 0.00% (mln tonnes) Edible oils - crop year Oct-Sept Output (mln 25.49 27.81 27.95 27.65 -1.07% tonnes) Soybean oil 14.31 16.60 16.58 16.58 0.00% Rapeseed 5.69 5.65 5.66 5.26 -7.07% Peanut oil 3.18 3.24 3.31 3.39 2.42% Imports 8.55 8.96 7.70 8.45 9.74% (mln tonnes) Palm oil 4.95 4.50 4.20 4.20 0.00% Rapeseed 1.51 1.80 1.40 1.80 28.57% Soybean oil 0.78 0.89 0.70 0.70 0.00% Consumption 33.38 32.89 33.82 33.82 0.00% (mln tonnes) Exports 0.27 0.26 0.27 0.27 0.00% (mln tonnes) Balance 0.40 3.63 1.56 2.02 29.49% (mln tonnes) CASDE includes beginning and ending stocks for cotton, which Reuters assumes to include the cotton held by state reserves. Therefore, ending stocks cited in this table are the beginning stocks plus the latest year’s crop and imports, minus consumption and exports. For all other products, CASDE only includes the balance at the end of the crop year. This appears to be the result of the crop output plus imports minus consumption and exports. (Reporting by Hallie Gu, Beijing Newsroom, and Dominique Patton. Editing by Kim Coghill.)

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