China is planning to increase its soybean acreage over the next five years, and will encourage more farmers to switch from corn to the more lucrative crop, an agricultural official said Thursday. Corn acreage will be cut by nearly 666,700 hectares this year as part of an effort to reduce huge stocks of the grain, according to a Ministry of Agriculture guideline issued in November. Pan Weibo, deputy director with the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture, told a news conference that authorities will roll out a plan to encourage farmers to switch to soybean cultivation in the former corn areas. The new guideline, expected to be issued by the end of the month, will include measures to help improve per unit area yields, quality and efficiency in soybean production…Full Article: China Daily Apr 2016

Key Point

  • Chinese corn farmers Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Inner Mongolia will reportedly receive corn production subsidies. The Ministry of Agriculture also noted that soybean production will be promoted on farmland that has historically grown the legume.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In March 2016, China announced that it would end its state corn stockpiling program (began in 2008).
  • From 2015 to 2016, China’s Ministry of Agriculture hopes to decrease its corn cultivation area by 670,000 hectares. During the same time, according to Shandong’s Department of Agriculture, the province has decreased its wheat cultivation area by 8,333 hectares, the first such decline in eight years.
  • As of 2015, China’s northeast (e.g. Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin and Inner Mongolia) had approximately 160 million MTs of corn in storage, or roughly 78% of China’s total corn reserves.
  • In November 2015, China announced plans to cut its corn production by 3.3 million hectares across 13 provinces/regions by the end of 2020. This decline in area will cut production by approximately 25 million MTs. According the Deputy Director of China’s Crop Production Department (under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture), the major corn producing regions of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang will see the largest declines in production area, while Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Guizhou and Yunnan will also be affected somewhat.
  • In September 2015, China decreased its corn purchasing price for state reserves by 10.7%, marking it the first decline since price support measures would introduced in 2008.
  • In 2013, Heilongjiang Province was China’s largest soybean grower, accounting for 2.5 million ha or 27% of the country’s total sown area.
  • From 2003 to 2013, corn production in China’s northeast (e.g. provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Jilin) increased from 6.3 million ha to 11 million ha.
  • From 2012 to 2013, Chinese corn production increased from 205 million MTs to 218 MTs. In 2013, Heilongjiang produced 32 million MTs of corn, accounting for 15% of China’s total output. Jilin produced 27 million MTs or roughly 13% of the country’s corn output.

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