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Daily Review on Grain Market in China--31/7/2019

Today (Jul. 31st), the market for grains in China is shown as follows:

Corn: Domestic corn prices stay stable with some rises today. The price prevails at 2,040-2,100 yuan/tonne in Shandong with some rises of 10 yuan/tonne from yesterday. At Jinzhou port, Liaoning, corn with 14.5% moisture and test weight over 720 g/L is priced steadily at 1,880-1,910 yuan/tonne. At Bayuquan port, 2018 new corn is priced steadily at 1,850-1,860 yuan/tonne (test weight 690 g/L and moisture 14.5%). At Shekou port, Guangdong, second-class corn is predicted to be traded steadily at around 1,970-1,980 yuan/tonne.

Corn inventory has been experiencing an obvious decline from a high level at both Southern and Northern ports, of which it has declined to the lowest level this year of 550,000 tonnes at Guangdong port. Moreover, traders with stockpiles in hand become more willing to raise the prices as there are still price inversions at ports, and the marketing quantity from some grain collecting enterprise is decreasing. The price goes up by 10 yuan/tonne at ports and among enterprises. However, corn market may be curbed by its weak fundamentals: on one hand, traders in Northeastern China have been holding relatively adequate stockpiles in hand; on the other, the lingering African swine fever, which is still not under effective control, has been depressing the sentiment of feed enterprises in purchase. Overall, short-term market will be in the relatively strong pattern. 

Imported sorghum prices keep steady today. (U.S. sorghum is not offered for out of stock in Shanghai, Nantong, Zhangjiagang and Guangdong; Australian sorghum: raw sorghum is 2,390 yuan/tonne in Tianjin, unchanged at 2,200 in Qingdao and out of stock in Nantong, and dried sorghum is 2,500 yuan/tonne in Tianjin and unchanged at 2,300 in Qingdao).

Domestic sorghum prices stay stable today. In Inner Mongolia, raw sorghum is 2,200 and dried sorghum is 2,300 yuan/tonne in Hinggan League; raw sorghum is not offered and dried sorghum 2,320 in Chifeng; and raw sorghum 2,200 in Tongliao. In Jilin Province, dried sorghum is 2,300 yuan/tonne in Changchun; raw sorghum sacks and dried sorghum with loading are both 2,100 yuan/tonne in Songyuan; sorghum is out of stock in Baicheng; and raw sorghum and dried sorghum sacks are 1,900 and 1,980 yuan/tonne in Taonan. In Heilongjiang Province, dried sorghum with loading is 2,000 yuan/tonne in Qiqihar; dried sorghum with loading is 2,260 yuan/tonne in Daqing, and raw sorghum is 1,900 yuan/tonne and dried sorghum is 2,040 in Heihe. In Shanxi Province, raw sorghum is 2,100 yuan/tonne in Yuncheng, bulk dried sorghum with freight is 2,400 yuan/tonne in Jinzhong, and raw sorghum with freight and dried sorghum with loading are 1,960 and 2,160 yuan/tonne in Xinzhou. 

Barley: Barley prices remain unchanged today. (Australian barley: raw sorghum is out of stock in Qingdao and bulk raw sorghum is 1,990 yuan/tonne in Nantong; Canadian barley: raw barley is 1,930 yuan/tonne and for brewing is out of stock in Nantong, and raw sorghum is 1,920 yuan/tonne in Qingdao; French barley: raw barley is not offered in Nantong; Ukrainian barley: not offered in Guangdong).

Sorghum price is now dragged down by weak demand due to continued drops in corn prices. And importers with storage in hand tend to prop up prices in view of low barley inventories at ports and stubbornly high cost of Australian barley. Merely, port sorghum and barley have lost their price advantage against corn as its energy feed substitutes. According to statistics from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, hog in breeding in May has declined by 4.2% from April and by 22.9% from the corresponding period last year, and reproductive sow has declined by 4.1% from last month and by 23.9% from a year earlier. The African swine fever has roiled the original trend of hog cycle in China, as middle and small farmers withdrew from the market and geared up the elimination of breeding sow stocks since the first outbreak last August, and it has been fiercely cutting the pig number in those provinces reported with more outbreaks. Thus, it will be hard for farmers to rebuild confidence in short time as a fall in live pig and sow stocks has stricken a serious blow at the sector. Given this, grain market will be curbed by its later consumption. Generally, port sorghum and barley markets are predicted to keep steady with some fluctuations in the short term, and port sorghum market may be buoyed again by concerns over trade disputes, so participants and focus on the outcome of trade talks.  

(USD $1=CNY 6.87)