Economist questions estimate of China’s corn ending stocks

A University of Missouri ag economist says the USDA’s estimates for China’s corn imports and ending stocks might be off.

USDA has China’s corn imports pegged at 26 million metric tons, but Ben Brown with MU’s Food and Agricultural Food Policy Institute tells Brownfield the corn market tells him otherwise.

“Everything suggests they’ve imported more than that,” he said. “It also suggests that their ending stocks are much tighter than 198 million metric tons the USDA’s got reported.”

But he said it’s difficult to accurately estimate China’s corn production because it might be stored in small bins across the country in hard to access areas.

He said China is about to release its first batch of state reserve corn of the year, imported from Ukraine, into the market.

“That signals to me that their ending stocks of domestic corn are almost nearly depleted,” Brown said. “But again, it could be the accessible corn they have is nearly depleted and there could be a lot of inaccessible corn in different places around the country that’re just hard to get to.”

USDA’s estimate for China’s corn ending stocks remained unchanged for the third month in a row in Thursday’s supply and demand report.

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