July 26, 2010 (Chinavestor) Summertime is the time for corn on the cob. Whether or not that all-American delicacy becomes popular in China is another story, but it is obvious China likes corn as illustrated by news from the U.S. Grains Council, which said China will import 15 million tons of corn by 2015.
Chinese corn imports may total 1.7 million tons this year and 5.8 million tons next year, the Grains Council said. China was a net exporter of corn until 2009. The country is the second-largest corn consumer in the world. As China's middle class grows, demand for meat and dairy products is growing as well. That means farmers need to purchase more livestock feed, which is made from corn.
Corn futures have risen 8.4% since April 27, a day before the USDA reported the first corn sales to China by U.S. exporters of at least 100,000 tons since 2001, according to Bloomberg News.
Japan's Marubeni Corp. said earlier this year that China's corn imports could rise to 10 million tons by 2015. China’s previous record imports totaled 4.29 million tons, in the year to September 1996, Bloomberg reported, citing the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Analysts expect China's increased demand to boost corn futures as the country becomes the fourth-largest corn buyer in the world.