China’s Ministry of Agriculture said it was lowering its forecast for corn consumption in the 2019/20 crop year amid outbreaks of African swine fever across the country, reported Reuters.
The ministry said corn consumption was now seen 2 million tons lower than last month’s forecast at 280 million tons because a huge fall in the pig herd was reducing demand for feed. China has said its sow herd declined by a record 23.9% in May from a year earlier, but some estimate the number to be twice that level.
Beijing is encouraging less planting of corn in some areas in the far north and higher output of soybeans instead. This trend cut the estimated size of the corn crop by 920,000 tons to 253 million tons.
The ministry also said that southwestern Yunnan province continued to suffer from drought, and that both the sugar cane crops there and the sugar beet crops in Inner Mongolia were suffering from pests.