BEIJING, CHINA — Chinese corn and wheat imports are anticipated to decrease as domestic production rises, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Corn imports are expected to fall six million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year to 20 million tonnes as demand for commodity decreases and an increase in domestic production is forecast to jump. Corn production is estimated to increase 11.3 million tonnes to 272 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year due to increased planted area.

Unlike corn, the USDA estimates China’s barley imports to rise as feed mills switch to using more barley over sorghum. Despite the country’s strong demand for barley the price of the commodity has remained stable over the past few years and has pushed the USDA’s import forecast to 10.5 million tonnes of the 2021-22 marketing year. The domestic forecast production for barley has been reduced by 40,000 tonnes to 860,000 tonnes as some of the barley planted area has been reduced to make more room for corn planting.

Similar to barley, Chinese sorghum production is expected to fall as some sorghum area is anticipated to be converted to corn. The USDA estimates a 50,000 tonne reduction in sorghum production with a total estimate of 3.55 million tonnes to be produced in the 2021-22 marketing year. Due to the availability of cheaper substitutes of sorghum, such as barley, sorghum imports are forecast to dip 2.5 million tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year.

An increase in yields and planted area are expected to boost China’s wheat crop in the 2021-22 marketing year to 136 million tonnes, a 120,000-tonne increase compared to the previous year. The USDA forecasts China’s wheat imports to slip two million tonnes in the 2021-22 marketing year to eight million tonnes.  According to industry contacts wheat silos are full due to China’s strong wheat imports in the 2020-21 marketing year committed to the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement combined with COVID-19 supply concerns.