China's industrial corn consumption may increase 5% to 55 million tonnes in year ending Sept. 30--the least in five years--as the economy slows, imports decrease, researcher says

LOS ANGELES , December 29, 2011 () – China’s industrial use of corn may increase at the slowest rate in at least five years as the economy slows and the need for imports is curbed, according to state-affiliated researcher, Bloomberg reported Dec. 29.

Corn processing may grow 5% to 55 million tonnes in the year ending Sept. 30, compared with 11% a year ago, analyst Zhang Zhixian said in a Dec. 27 interview.

Lower corn demand from China may exert pressure on prices in Chicago, which have dropped 17% since Aug. 31 on sufficient global grain supplies and worries that Europe’s debt crisis and the slowing global economy could undercut demand.

Corn consumption for industrial use is more dependent on the economy, which is slowing in China, stopping the rapid growth of the sector and leading to a modest and stable rate, according to Zhang.

China’s corn use for non-feed purposes has increased about fivefold in the last decade, comprising nearly one third of the total, Zhang said. Non-feed use has grown by more than 10% annually since 2007-2008, helping to deplete the country’s reserves, Zhang added.

China purchased 1.3 million tonnes of corn in 2009-2010, the most in 14 years, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The country may also have purchased 4.2 million tonnes this year to bolster state reserves, according to Zhang.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Dec. 29, 2011.

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