China’s Corn Harvest Escapes Worst of Typhoon Flood Devastation

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(Bloomberg) — Grain farmers in northern China have escaped the worst impact of the summer’s typhoons on production, with harvests of crops like corn set to rise in the coming year.

The torrential rains that lashed northern regions left dozens dead and fields flooded, raising fears that some agricultural production could be devastated. But broadly favorable weather over the growing season and increases in acreage are likely to more than offset the hit to yields caused by the deluge.  

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“Even though the rains were heavy, overall weather conditions in the northeast were favorable most of the time,” said Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. “Output of grains, including rice, corn, soybeans and sorghum, is expected to rise.”

Guolian Futures Co. expects corn production in the northeast to increase by 4.1 million tons to 98.6 million tons in the 2023-24 season, which runs from October, according to a report from the brokerage on Friday. The region typically accounts for almost 30% of China’s total harvest of grains, including substantial portions of the national corn, soybean and rice crops.

High-quality rice production in the area did suffer, according to Beijing Orient’s Ma. But the impact on the market is likely to be limited because prices were already too dear for many of China’s cash-strapped consumers.

Corn yields, particularly in low-lying areas, will have been affected by the rains and may drop by as much as 10% in some parts, according to Citic Futures Co., which surveyed farmers and traders in the region. But overall production is expected to rise due to expanded acreage, it said.

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In a report last week, China’s agriculture ministry forecast a 2.7% increase in total corn production to 285 million tons in 2023-24, noting that typhoon rains may have improved soil moisture levels in some northern regions.

The Week’s Diary

(All times Beijing unless noted.)

Monday, Sept. 18

  • China’s 2nd batch of Aug. trade data, including agricultural imports; LNG & pipeline gas imports; oil products trade breakdown; alumina, copper and rare-earth product exports; bauxite, steel & aluminum product imports
  • China August output data for base metals and oil products

Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • China Intl Copper Forum in Kunming, Yunnan, day 1
  • China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, day 1

Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • China sets monthly loan prime rates, 09:15
  • CCTD’s weekly online briefing on Chinese coal, 15:00
  • China’s 3rd batch of August trade data, including country breakdowns for energy and commodities
  • China Energy Summit & Exhibition in Beijing, day 1
  • China Intl Copper Forum in Kunming, Yunnan, day 2
  • China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, day 2

Thursday, Sept. 21

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  • China Green Steel Summit in Shanghai, day 1
  • China Energy Summit & Exhibition in Beijing, day 2
  • China Intl Copper Forum in Kunming, Yunnan, day 3
  • China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, day 3

Friday, Sept. 22

  • China weekly iron ore port stockpiles
  • Shanghai exchange weekly commodities inventory, ~15:30
  • North Bund Intl Shipping Forum in Shanghai, day 1
  • China Green Steel Summit in Shanghai, day 2
  • China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, day 4

Saturday, Sept. 23

  • North Bund Intl Shipping Forum in Shanghai, day 2
  • China International Industry Fair in Shanghai, day 5

Sunday, Sept. 24

  • North Bund Intl Shipping Forum in Shanghai, day 3

On the Wire

A massive retreat of funds from Chinese stocks and bonds is diminishing the market’s clout in global portfolios and accelerating its decoupling from the rest of the world.

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