BEIJING, CHINA — A bounce back in the swine sector and continued growth poultry sector are expected to boost China’s feed demand, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA projects feed and residual use for all coarse grains and feed quality wheat to total 6.8 million tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year, a 3.2% increase compared with the previous year. Overall feed demand is anticipated to recover to the 2017-18 level of about 218.9 million tonnes.

The country’s 2020-21 corn production is expected to fall 4% to 250 million tones as Fall Army Worm (FAW) causes issues. Despite a recovery in the swine sector, corn is being passed over for feed use due to high prices compared to other grains. According to the USDA, mills in coastal areas reportedly replaced more than 30% of the corn in their feed formula with sorghum, barley and/or wheat.

China is expected to rely more on corn imports and stocks of old rice for feed as it depleted a majority of its temporary stocks in auctions May through September.

The USDA estimates China’s wheat production in the 2020-21 marketing year to be 134 million tonnes. Imports of the commodity are forecast to total 7 million tonnes.

Wheat consumption is forecast to rise as it is being utilized to replace corn in feed use.

“Some analysts estimate China’s wheat use for feed will increase to 20 million tonnes this calendar year,” the USDA said.