China to see bumper grain harvest on good growing conditions

A farmer in China harvests corn at a farm in Gaocheng, Hebei province in 2015.

China should see a bumper grain harvest in the coming weeks because of good growing conditions and an increase in planted acreage, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu said in a recent statement.

The comments followed concerns that a series of typhoons could reduce the output of corn, which is already in tight supply.

China’s corn crop is expected to fall by up to 10 million tonnes, or nearly four per cent, from the latest government estimates after the storms hit the northeastern Corn Belt, analysts said.

Expected production losses have pushed Chinese corn futures to a record high and stoked worries over supply shortages in the world’s second-largest consumer of the grain.

Han did not specify which crops he was referring to but said the overall planted acreage of autumn grain had increased by eight per cent this year.

Soybeans and rice are also harvested in the autumn, in addition to corn.

He noted that three consecutive typhoons in the centre of China’s northeast knocked over corn in some areas.

However, given the maturity of the crop at that time, he said the fallen crops would have limited impact on output, and mainly increase the difficulty and cost of harvesting.

Corn in northern China was showing “better-than-usual” growth, he added.

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