Thursday, September 24, 2020

China’s State Council Bans Traders From Storing Grains

From the South China Morning Post, September 24:

China’s surging corn prices blamed on speculators as Beijing plays down fears of grain shortage
  • China’s agriculture minister Han Changfu says sharp increase in corn prices is the fault of ‘market speculation and irrational hoarding’
  • Typhoons and floods have recently hit the nation’s main corn growing regions, raising concerns about shortages
China’s agriculture minister has blamed speculators for skyrocketing corn prices, as Beijing continues to reassure the public the world’s most populous country is not facing a grain shortage.
Corn price recently hit an eight-year high following typhoons and floods that damaged the nation’s corn belt. A trip to the area by the South China Morning Post this month found swathes of
cropland had been flattened, fuelling concern among local farmers about a steep drop in output.
China’s imports of corn, which are mainly used in animal feed, hit their highest level in nearly three decades in the first eight months of 2020, adding to anxiety over a domestic supply gap.
But Han Changfu, the nation’s Minister of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, said the surging prices were caused primarily by “market speculation and irrational hoarding”, according to an interview transcript published on the ministry‘s website.

New corn will enter the market soon, the supply will further increase Han Changfu
In the interview with state media, Han said the country had ample stocks of the grain and was set to have another bumper harvest in autumn, despite the impact of natural disasters in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, which together account for a quarter of China’s corn output.
“New corn will enter the market soon, the supply will further increase,” he said. “Corn prices have started to stabilise.”....