China is buying huge amounts of U.S. corn as it rebuilds its hog herd and recovers from the pandemic, but its appetite for imports could weaken by next fall, when U.S. farmers are expected to harvest their second-largest crop ever, said University of Illinois economists on Tuesday. Chinese imports of 13 million tonnes this year could taper to a still-large 10.5 million tonnes during the sales year that begins on September 1.
“China will import grain when it needs grain and when the market dictates,” said economist Joe Janzen. At the moment, imported corn costs less than domestically grown corn in China. The USDA estimates China will import 13 million tonnes of corn this marketing year, double last year’s amount. Some 11 million tonnes of U.S. corn have been sold for shipment to China since Sept 1.