A bumper Chinese crop of corn is expected to “moderate” soaring world prices, according to a US agricultural organisation.

The US Grains Council (USGC) yesterday (4 October) released an estimate that China will produce 167m tonnes of corn, an increase of approximately 9m tonnes over last year.

This increased supply will help to alleviate “record high” prices, according to Dr Wendell Shauman, the USGC chairman.

“As a farmer, I’m always happy to see strong harvests, and [the] figures are good news,” he said. “Demand for high quality protein continues to grow, thanks to the surging growth of the global middle class.

“As a result, world corn prices this summer and fall reached record highs. Strong harvests will help moderate prices. In the long run, that’s good for both producers and consumers all around the world.”

However, the USGC believes that, despite the strong crop, China will not meet its domestic demand and will need to import corn.

“That translates into a growing opportunity for US producers over the next several years,” Shauman added.