BEIJING, CHINA — China is expected to significantly decrease imports of US corn during the 2022-23 marketing year, instead turning to Brazil as its primary supplier, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The report noted that Brazil reportedly will be able to export corn to China before the end of the year, earlier than the previously planned timeline of mid-2023, as the Chinese government has agreed to temporarily waive a key clause in the phytosanitary protocol re-signed in May 2022.

China currently holds contracts for 3.4 million tonnes of US corn for delivery in 2022-23, 70% less than the same time last year. The report said China’s shift toward Brazil for most of its corn is due to current US corn prices and the signing of the phytosanitary protocol.

The USDA projects total China corn imports in 2022-23 at 18 million tonnes, down from 23 million the previous year.

The agency forecasts China’s 2022-23 corn production at 270 million tonnes, down 2.5 million from the previous year due to lower planting area and yield.

Production losses caused by excessive rains throughout June and July in Northeast China cannot be fully offset by better yields project in the North China Plain,” the USDA said.