Quick, Send For Charlie Chan, Again

They've just bought their largest consignment of US corn since 2001. Today the Chinese government say that they will limit the amount of corn that individual trading companies can buy, and also ban the resale to others of any corn sold at their weekly auctions.

The reason is to prevent hoarding, they say.

Well, if you've really got 50 million tonnes in state-owned stocks then why would anybody want to hoard corn? Why not auction off so much of it that the domestic price will fall back in line with world prices? That would teach the nasty hoarders a lesson wouldn't it?

Why allow a situation to develop where domestic corn prices are double what they are in the US when you've had year after year of bumper corn harvests? Including a hefty 163 MMT of the stuff last year. The state silos must be groaning under the pressure of it all surely? Just let it all out and that will be the end of the problem.

You did have a bumper crop didn't you? And all those stocks really are still there aren't they?