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BEIJING: China’s corn prices are likely to fall in 2021/22 on good supplies of feed grains in the New Year and expectations of a bumper harvest from the new corn crop, an analyst from a government institute said on Tuesday.

“Corn prices are probably going to hit bottom levels between end of December and Chinese Spring Festival, the expected peak period when farmers sell the new crop (this year),” said Li Xigui, analyst from the China National Grain and Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC), a government think tank.

In a live streamed talk, Li said stocks of feed wheat and rice were plentiful, and grain imports would remain at high levels in the New Year, China’s corn futures prices have fallen 13% from record highs hit in May.

Li said China was set to import 20 million tonnes of corn in the 2021/22 year, down from 29 million tonnes in 2020/21, and that imports of sorghum would come in at 10 million tonnes in the New Year, up from 8.5 million.

China’s 2021/22 barley imports were expected to rise to 12 million tonnes, from 11.4 million tonnes in 2020/21.

Li also said China was likely to import 200,000 tonnes of dried distillers’ grains (DDGs), about the same as this year.

China has stepped up purchases of various feed grains to plug a gap in the supply of domestic corn. Imports of both corn and wheat have surged to record highs in 2020.

Regarding demand, Li said it was uncertain whether this would increase stably in the New Year, as pig prices were expected to keep falling while alternative feed ingredients to replace corn and soyameal would continue to be promoted.

China’s pig prices plunged sharply this year on a rebound in production and as farmers rushed to send heavy pigs to slaughter.

Wheat and rice use in feed were also seen remaining high, helping to curb corn prices, Li added.

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