Will China need to import as much maize next season?

Throughout 2020/21, China played a key global role in supporting maize prices and in turn wheat prices. Chinese buying of grains contributed to the tightening of global supply and demand.

A relationship exists between US maize pricing and UK feed wheat pricing. The narrowing trading range suggests UK wheat prices are currently following maize prices, which could continue into 2021/22. So, understanding the global picture for maize could be significant to UK price direction.

Today I am looking at the Chinese maize supply situation, to understand what level of imports might be expected next season.

What can we expect from Chinese maize demand and supply next season?
China’s total maize demand in 2021/22 is forecasted by the International Grains Council (IGC) to rise 5.5Mt to 301.4Mt. Previous analysis predicts continued demand through the expanding pig herd. Recent figures show China’s Quarter 1 (Jan-Mar) pork production rose 31.9% year-on-year, to 13.7Mt. Importantly, China’s pig herd rose 29.5% year-on-year to 416.0M so demand could remain strong next season.

Reports of African Swine Fever (ASF) continue to emerge. Also, official guidance released this week recommends changes to pig and poultry rations to reduce usage of soyameal and maize. It is uncertain to what extent these may impact demand for maize.

For 2021/22 Chinese maize production, IGC forecast a rise of 6.6Mt to 267.3Mt and imports to fall 3.0Mt to 22.0Mt. These predictions would ease the strain on world supply marginally; though not when compared to 2019/20, as imports were only 9.4Mt. To note, the US attaché in Beijing forecasted higher imports for 2020/21 and lower imports for 2021/22. But overall, Chinese imports will still play into global maize prices next season, it is the extent that is to be determined.

What does this mean for the UK?
Chinese maize demand is still forecasted to exceed domestic supply in 2021/22. This means imports will be required, though how much is not yet clear.

There are many factors playing into maize imports next season. This includes feed inclusion rate changes, political relations, ASF, and Chinese policy towards grain imports and level of ending stocks, plus domestic production.

Current production forecasts are seemingly based on Chinese farmers achieving record yields. So, weather will be a key watch point going forward to monitor any potential crop damage/loss.

Should production not rise as expected this year, that could mean higher imports. This could strengthen global maize prices and lend support to UK wheat prices. Whereas, if China’s domestic production meets or exceeds forecasts, this could pressure global grain prices. Either way, eyes continue to be on China.

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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