China's Corn Crop Hit By Drought

China's largest grain trader and corn processor COFCO say that this season's drought-hit corn crop in the country may only total around 148 MMT.

That's 12 MMT lower than the USDA's latest figure, but pretty close to another private Chinese estimate last week from Shanghai-based JC Intelligence. They said that this season's crop would come in at 145.9 MMT after drought hit the crop during August.

Both estimates are also substantially lower than forecasts from the official Chinese think tank CNGOIC who last month pegged production at 166.5 MMT.

These sharply lower private estimates from within the country may go some way towards explaining why the government's weekly corn auctions have been reasonable well supported of late.

Any escalation of the simmering dispute between the US and China might also lead to an increase in domestic demand for corn, if the Chinese were to slap some sort of tariff of their own on US poultry imports.