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Corn output rises, bucks reduction efforts

By Xu Wei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-18 15:29

China's corn output was up 4.1 percent in the 2015-16 marketing year (September 2015 - August 2016) despite a government-led drive to reduce corn acreage, the Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.

During the period, the country produced 22.4 million metric tons of corn and imported 3.2 million tons - a 41.9 percent year-on-year decrease - according to the ministry's agricultural supply and demand estimates.

In November 2015, the ministry announced its plan to cut corn acreage by close to 670,000 hectares in 2016, as the country came under mounting pressure to reduce its corn stocks.

China consumed about 19.4 million tons of corn during the 2015-16 market year, up by 5.8 percent year-on-year.

The ministry predicts that the country's soybean acreage will reach 71.6 million hectares for the 2016-17 market year, up by 566,000 hectares from the previous year.

It said soybean output could increase 7.7 percent for the next market period and reach 12.5 million tons, mainly as a result of government-led efforts to encourage the growing of soybeans in the country's northeastern areas.

The price for domestic soybean should remain buoyant this year as a result of supply constraints, it added.

The ministry announced in April that China's soybean acreage would increase over the next five years, with more farmers encouraged to switch from corn to the more lucrative crop.

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