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China Continues to Buy More Grain
USAgNet - 06/03/2021

China has taken advantage of a temporary dip in feed grain prices to help itself to vast tonnages of product, in particular U.S. corn. Grain prices as a whole came off the sizzling highs seen so far in 2021, primarily on the back of improved weather outlooks in key parts of the northern hemisphere.

With that, China struck, purchasing more than 7 million tonnes of corn in a week, most of it from the US, and has also been busy topping up its barley supplies, with China's official import data showing they purchased 1.15 million tonnes of barley in April.

Andrew Whitelaw, grains industry analyst with Thomas Elder Markets, said the May splurge was just a continuation of what had been a big period for Chinese grain importers.

"At the end of April, China has already imported more grain (combined wheat, barley and corn) than the year totals for 2016-2019," Whitelaw said. "There was a bit of doom and gloom with the recent US Department of Agriculture report and the drop in grain prices, but this continuing Chinese demand is a good thing."

Whitelaw said the trade was divided on the cause of the strong buying from China and said there were probably several contributing factors.

They say wheat producers were directly benefiting from Chinese purchases but said even barley growers were still getting something out of the big buys.

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