China to stockpile corn during 2015-16 at lower price

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Beijing | Reuters — The Chinese government will continue its controversial corn stockpile policy during 2015-16 and will start to stock the grain from farmers at a lower price compared with last year, government bodies said in a statement late Friday.

Beijing will pay 2,000 yuan (C$414) per tonne to farmers in the northeast, the country’s corn belt, with the scheme lasting from Nov. 31 to April 30, 2016, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in a joint statement with other government bodies.

The price is about 10 per cent lower than the current year, ranging from 2,220-2,260 yuan per tonne, confirming an earlier Reuters’ report.

Four state-owned companies, including COFCO, are allowed to purchase on behalf of the government, and Beijing will offer subsidies for the purchases as well for building grain silos, according to the statement posted on the State Grain Administration website.

China is also expecting a record corn harvest next month after high domestic prices encouraged farmers to grow more of the grain.

Beijing will offer subsidies for building storage facilities, which are already running short as the government is sitting on more than 150 million tonnes of corn after years of stockpiling.

Reporting for Reuters by Niu Shuping and Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing.

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