China’s National Bureau of Statistics pegged its first estimate of 2012-13 corn production at a record 208 million tonnes, which was “adopted” by the USDA and was up 8 million tonnes from the USDA’s November forecast for China. The USDA said “economic information, weather data and satellite imagery support the large increase” in China’s corn output. The 2012-13 corn production estimate is up 8% from China’s outturn of 192.8 million tonnes in 2011-12.
A total world increase in corn production of 9.4 million tonnes from November partially was offset by lower output of barley, oats and grain sorghum, resulting in the net 7-million-tonne coarse grain increase, the USDA said.
China reported corn harvested area of a record 34.95 million hectares in 2012-13, up 4% from the previous year. The number of harvested acres planted to corn has been climbing in China for every crop year since 2003-04. Yield has increased every year since 2009-10.
The USDA said a number of factors contributed to the record crop, including a favorable price for corn at the time of planting compared to other field crops such as soybeans and cotton. Good growing conditions limited losses in the harvest-to-planted ratio in most areas with warmer-than-normal temperatures and plenty of precipitation aiding the corn crop in key regions of China.
Total coarse grain production in the U.S., in contrast, was forecast at a drought-reduced 284.8 million tonnes in 2012-13, unchanged from a month ago and down 12% from 2011-12, the USDA said. U.S. corn production was estimated at 272.4 million tonnes in 2012-13, down 13% from a year earlier.
U.S. corn exports, which have fallen steadily since 2009-10, have tumbled so far in 2012-13, although analysts forecast some increase in export demand later in the marketing year. Export inspections of corn from the start of the year Sept. 1 through Dec. 6 were down 50% from the same period a year earlier, according the latest USDA Grains Inspected and/or Weighed for Export report.