BEIJING, CHINA — Corn production in China is forecast to decline in 2019-20 due to government policies designed to reduce corn planting in favor of soybeans as well as crop damage from the spread of the fall armyworm, according to a July 8 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA said corn production for 2019-20 is forecast to fall more than 9% from its June outlook due to lower area and yield. The USDA projects a crop of 230 million tonnes, which is the lowest corn production forecast in China since 2012-13.

“This spring, key corn-producing provinces in China experienced adverse planting and growing conditions and are imminently threatened by the rapid spread and impact of the Fall Armyworm,” the USDA said.

Harvested area is forecast at 40 million hectares, 1 million fewer than the USDA projected in June.

Feed demand is projected lower as African swine fever-related declines in the hog sector are partly offset by rising poultry production.

The 2019-20 feed use forecast is lowered 11% from the USDA’s previous forecast to 170 million tonnes, the lowest feed use estimate since 2015-16.

Overall corn consumption is forecast at 259 million tonnes, a 7% decline from the USDA’s June figure, and the lowest consumption forecast in nearly four years, due to weakening demand for feed and FSI use.

The corn import forecast for 2019-20 is lowered to 6 million tonnes, 1 million tonnes less than the USDA’s June estimate, as lower feed demand across China relieves market pressure to import feed-quality grains to South China.