China 22/23 coarse grain import estimate falls amid weaker sorghum demand

China’s total imports of coarse grains including corn, barley, and sorghum in the 2022/23 marketing year are expected to be lower than previously thought as weaker domestic demand bites into the appetite for imports, according to USDA.

In the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (Wasde), USDA lowered its expectation of Chinese coarse grain imports in this marketing year to 34.45 million tons, down 700,000 tons compared to the figure last month, a fall of nearly 2%.

Compared to the volume of 41.5 million tons in the 2021/22 marketing year, the new figure is down nearly 17% year on year.

The lower estimate of coarse grain imports to China was largely because of weaker demand for sorghum purchases, USDA highlighted.

“For 2022/23 sorghum, a substantial decline in demand from China… Sorghum imports are reduced for China.”

Moreover, the weaker demand for sorghum is expected to be entirely from feed use. The total demand for coarse grains in the feed sector in China is estimated at 228.65 million tons, down 700,000 tons from the previous projection.

Lower feed demand directly leads to a cut of overall coarse grain demand estimate from 320.55 million tons to 319.85 million tons.

Meanwhile, USDA’s forecast of China’s corn demand in the 2022/23 marketing year is unchanged at 295 million tons, of which feed use accounts for 214 million tons.

The expectation of Chinese corn imports was also unchanged at 18 million tons, despite that Brazilian corn cargoes had started to be shipped to China last month.