China corn production boosts 2012/2013 output

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World coarse grain supplies for 2012/13 are projected to reach 1,283.6 million tons, up 7.0 million tons this month, mostly due to a record corn crop reported for China. Foreign corn production is forecast up 9.4 million tons to 576.7 million, but this is partly offset by reductions for foreign barley, down 0.7 million to 125.3 million; foreign oats, cut 0.5 million to 19.7 million; and foreign sorghum, trimmed 0.3 million to 52.8 million. Expected 2012/13 production for millet, mixed grain, and rye are virtually unchanged this month.

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China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published its first estimate of corn production at a record 208.1 million tons, and USDA adopted a slightly rounded version at 208.0 million, as some future revisions can be expected as the NBS gets additional details. This is up 8.0 million tons from the previous month’s forecast. Economic information, weather data, and satellite imagery support the large increase. NBS reported corn harvested area of a record 34.95 million hectares in 2012/13, a 4 percent-increase from the previous year. The price of corn at planting time was more attractive than that of alternative crops, especially soybeans or cotton. Favorable growing conditions limited losses in the harvested-to-planted ratio in most areas. Some corn was lodged early in September in the eastern part of the northeastern corn belt by Typhoon Bolaven, but much of the corn was still reportedly harvested. Area expansion has been strongest in the two northernmost provinces, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia, with the increased availability of short-season corn varieties. Warmer-than-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation provided the moisture and growing degree days needed by corn in these provinces. Satellite imagery confirms the favorable condition of the corn crop throughout the North China Plain and Northeast. China’s 2012/13 corn crop exceeds the previous year’s record by 8 percent.

Statistics Canada recently published a record estimate for the 2012/13 corn crop, raising production 1.5 million tons from USDA’s previous forecast to 13.1 million tons. A record area harvested is combined with the second best yield, at 9.2 tons per hectare, up 11 percent this  month. Corn area expanded notably in Quebec where this season’s warm temperatures were favorable.

Russia’s corn production is increased 1.0 million tons to a record 8.5 million based on harvest reports that indicate record yields. Both the Central District and North Caucasus report excellent yields, with some producers still harvesting in the North Caucasus.

North Korea has had a favorable growing season for corn, with 2012/13 production projected up 0.4 million tons this month to 1.8 million due to good yields. Rainfall through the season was favorable, with the typhoon damage that hurt South Korea passing to the west of North Korea’s corn area. The forecast corn yield is the highest since 1990.

A record 2012/13 corn harvest is projected for Chile, up 0.3 million tons to 1.8 million based on a record area. There is also a small increase this month for Australia’s corn production.

Partly offsetting the aforementioned increases in projected corn production are reduced prospects for several countries. Argentina, Moldova, and Ukraine are each reduced 0.5 million tons this month, with smaller declines for Belarus and Jordan. Argentina’s corn production prospects decline to 27.5 million tons as extensive heavy rains during the planting season are likely to cause some producers to switch to shorter-season crops, or in the most severely flooded areas, prevent planting. Moldova’s corn crop is cut in half this month to 0.5 million tons as severe drought devastated yields and trimmed area harvested. Ukraine’s corn crop is reduced to 20.5 million tons as snow has stalled corn harvesting, and fields harvested after snow melts in the spring will suffer reduced yields.

Australia’s 2012/13 sorghum production is projected down 0.3 million tons to 2.4 million and the previous year’s production is trimmed 0.1 million to 2.2 million. Area harvested is increased for both years, but yields are reduced. Area in 2012/13 is expected to expand as cotton prices are less attractive than sorghum prices, but dry soils are expected to prevent 2012/13 yields from matching the previous year. Oats area is reported lower, trimming 2012/13 production prospects 0.2 million tons to 1.1 million.

Statistics Canada reported oats area and yield as less than expected, reducing 2012/13 production 0.3 million tons to 2.7 million. Barley production is down 0.6 million tons to 8.0 million, with reduced yields more than offsetting a small area increase.

There are small mostly offsetting changes this month to EU barley, corn, mixed grain, oats, and rye. There is a slight reduction in area and production prospects for barley in Chile.

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