Crop Explorer - Production Briefs - China and Taiwan


Oct 10 2019 | China Corn: Production Down from Last Year Due to Declining Planted Area
USDA estimates China’s 2019/20 corn production at 254 million metric tons (mmt), down 1.3 percent from last year, and approximately 5 mmt below the 5-year average. The year-to-year decline in production is attributed to a significant decrease in planted area. Area is estimated at 41 million hectares (mha), down 2.7 percent or 1.1 mha from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 6.20 tons per hectare (t/ha), up 1 percent from last year, and up 4 percent from the 5-year average of 5.98 t/ha. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@usda.gov.)

Sep 12 2019 | China Soybeans: Production Forecast at a Record High
USDA forecasts China’s 2019/20 soybean production at a record 17.1 million metric tons (mmt), up 1.2 mmt from last year. The year-to-year forecast is 8 percent higher than last year’s record crop of 15.9 mmt primarily due to a rise in area planted, which is at a 5-year high. Area is forecast at 9.0 million hectares, up 0.6 million or 7 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1.90 tons per hectare (t/ha), up slightly from last year, and up 4 percent from the 5-year average of 1.83 t/ha. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov.)

May 10 2019 | China Cotton: 2019/20 Production Projected Same as Last Year
USDA forecasts China’s 2019/20 cotton production at 27.8 million 480-pound bales (6.04 million metric tons), unchanged from last year, and up 7 percent from the 5-year average. Area is predicted at 3.5 million hectares, down 1 percent from last year. Yield is predicted at 1,751 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), up 1 percent from last year and up 6 percent from the 5-year average. Cotton yield has increased due to the large share of cotton planted in Xinjiang province where yield is nearly twice the national average. China’s major cotton production regions are in Xinjiang, Shandong, Hebei, and Jiangsu provinces. In recent years, Xinjiang province has become the top producer with nearly 80 percent of the total national cotton production. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Apr 9 2019 | China Cotton: Production is Higher than Last Year
USDA estimates China’s 2018/19 cotton production at 27.8 million 480-pound bales (6.42 million metric tons), up 1 percent from last month and from last year, and up 3 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 3.5 million hectares (mha), up 0.2 mha (4 percent) and up 3 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 1,726 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) down 3.4 percent from last month and down 2 percent from last year’s record of 1,761 kg/ha, but still up 8 percent from the 5-year average of 1,602 kg/ha. (For additional information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Feb 8 2019 | China Cotton: Production Increased Due to Record Yield
USDA estimates China’s 2018/19 cotton production at 27.5 million 480-pound bales (5.99 million metric tons), up 1.9 percent from December, unchanged from last year, and up 1.9 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 3.35 million hectares, unchanged from the previous estimate, but down 1.5 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 1,787 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), up 1.8 percent from the previous estimate and up 1.5 percent from last year’s record of 1,761 kg/ha. The projected yield is slightly above the long-term trend due to an increased share of cotton planted in Xinjiang province where yield is nearly twice the national average. The major production regions are in Xinjiang, Shandong, Hebei, and Jiangsu provinces. The 2018/19 season was characterized by favorable weather and soil moisture across the major cotton growing regions, facilitating rapid planting and favorable crop establishment. For 2017/18 and 2018/19, Xinjiang province produced nearly 78 percent of the total national cotton production. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov.)

Nov 8 2018 | China Corn: Historical Database Revision Results in Significant Updates to 2018/19
USDA estimates China’s 2018/19 corn production at 256 million metric tons, up 14 percent from last month, but down 1 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 6.17 metric tons per hectare (t/ha), slightly higher than last month, up approximately 1 percent from last year, and up 4 percent from the 5-year average of 5.96 t/ha. Area is estimated at 41.5 million hectares, 14 percent above last month’s estimate and down 2 percent from last year. The November revisions are based on census data from the 2018 statistical yearbook published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics in October. The historical revisions entailed significant changes to USDA’s November 2018/19 area and production estimates for China. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov.)

Oct 11 2018 | China Corn: Production Estimated to Increase from Last Year
USDA estimates China’s 2018/19 corn production at a record 225 million metric tons, unchanged from last month, up 4 percent from last year, and up 3 percent from the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at a record 6.16 tons per hectare (t/ha) unchanged from last month, up 1 percent from last year’s record of 6.09 t/ha, and up 3 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 36.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 3 percent from last year. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov.)

Sep 12 2018 | China Rice: 2018/19 Production Forecast to Decrease from Last Month
USDA forecasts China’s 2018/19 rice production at 140.8 million metric tons (mmt), down approximately 1 percent (1.4 mmt) from last month, down 5.2 mmt from last year, and down almost 3 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 29.5 million hectares (mha), unchanged from last month and down 2 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 6.82 metric tons per hectare (rough basis), down 1 percent from last month, down over 1 percent from last year, and down slightly from the 5-year average. The forecast yield is significantly below the long-term trend. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov)

Jun 12 2018 | China Cotton: Production Estimate Decreased 2% from Last Month
USDA forecasts China’s 2018/19 cotton production at 26.5 million 480-pound bales (5.77 million metric tons), down 2 percent from last month, 4 percent from last year, and 2 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 3.35 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 1 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 1,722 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) down 2 percent from month and down 2 percent from last year’s record of 1,761 kg/ha, but up 8 percent from the 5-year average of 1,602 kg/ha. The projected yield is at the long-term trend due to the continued increasing share of cotton being planted in Xinjiang province where yield has nearly doubled compared to elsewhere in the country. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Jun 12 2018 | China Rice: Production Estimate Decreased 2% from Last Month
USDA forecasts China’s 2018/19 rice production at 142.2 million metric tons (milled basis), down approximately 2 percent from last month, 3 percent from last year, and 2 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 29.5 million hectares, down roughly 2 percent from last month and down 2 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 6.89 metric tons per hectare, up slightly from last month, but down less than 1 percent from last year. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov)

May 10 2018 | China Corn: 2018/19 Production Forecast to Increase from Last Year
USDA forecasts China’s 2018/19 corn production at 225.0 million metric tons (mmt), up 9.1 mmt or 4 percent from last year and up 3 percent from the 5-year average. Yield is forecast at a record 6.16 metric tons per hectare, up 1 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 36.5 million hectares (mha), up approximately 1.1 mha or 3 percent from last year. The 2018 area is expected to rebound from the two previous seasons. In 2016 and 2017 corn area was significantly below the long-term trend due to changes in agricultural policy and lower market prices. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

May 10 2018 | China Cotton: 2018/19 Production Projected to Decrease Slightly from Last Year
China’s 2018/19 cotton production is forecast by USDA at 27.0 million 480-pound bales (5.88 million metric tons), down 2 percent from last year, but same as the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 3.35 million hectares, down 2 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1,755 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) down slightly from last year’s record of 1,761 kg/ha but up 10 percent from the 5-year average of 1,602 kg/ha. The projected yield is above the long-term trend due to an increasing share of cotton being planted in Xinjiang province where yield is nearly double compared to elsewhere in the country. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Mar 8 2018 | China Rapeseed: Production Estimate Revised Upward
China’s 2017/18 rapeseed production is estimated at 14.4 million tons, up 1.3 million or approximately 10 percent from last month and down 1 percent from last year. The estimated area of 7.2 million hectares is down 0.13 million or 2 percent from last year and the smallest area since 2009/10. Yield is estimated at 2.00 tons per hectare, up 1 percent from last year and above the 5-year average. The rapeseed yield trend has been nearly flat for the past decade. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Mar 8 2018 | China Sorghum: Production Revised Down
USDA estimates China’s 2017/18 sorghum production at 3.2 million metric tons, down roughly 0.7 million or 17 percent from last month but up 0.2 million or 7 percent from last year. The revised estimate is due to a decrease in harvested area. Area is estimated at 675,000 hectares, up 50,000 or 8 percent from last year. The current area estimate is the highest sorghum area since 2006. Sorghum, like most other crops, has benefited from recent changes in agricultural policies. The farmers’ response has been a reduction in corn area and the largest reduction has occurred in the Northeast, including Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Nei Mongol provinces. In this region farmers shifted corn acreage to alternative crops such as sorghum, soybeans, potatoes, and rice. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Feb 8 2018 | China Cotton: Production Up 21 Percent From Last Year Due to Record Yields
China cotton is expected to be especially plentiful in the 2017/18 marketing year, as record yields and high acreage are on track to produce the largest cotton harvest in three years. USDA estimates the production at 27.5 million 480-pound bales (5.99 million metric tons), up 4 percent from last month and up 21 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 3.4 million hectares (mha), up 17 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 1,761 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) up 1 percent from last month and up 3 percent from the previous record of 1,708 kg/ha in 2016/17. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Jan 12 2018 | China Cotton: Record Yield
China’s cotton production for 2017/18 is estimated by USDA at 26.4 million 480-pound bales (5.75 million metric tons), up 6 percent from last month, and up 16 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 3.3 million hectares, up 14 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 1,742 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) unchanged from last month and up 2 percent from the previous record of 1,708 kg/ha in 2016/17. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov).

Oct 12 2017 | China Cotton: Near Record Yield
China’s 2017/18 cotton production is estimated at 24.5 million (480 lb.) bales (5.33 million metric tons), unchanged from last month, up 8 percent from last year. Area is still estimated at 3.13 million hectares, up 8 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 1,707 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), down slightly from last year’s record of 1,708 kg/ha. Cotton picking is in full progress under favorable weather conditions across Xinjiang province. According to the China Cotton Association, 20 percent of Xinjiang’s crop had been harvested by the end of September. In the eastern provinces of Shandong, Hebei, and Jiangsu nearly half of the crop has been harvested. Since the season began in April, most major cotton growing regions received normal to above-normal rainfall, resulting in favorable planting conditions, plant growth, and a promising finish to the season. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov)

Oct 12 2017 | China Corn: Record Yield Estimated
USDA estimates China’s 2017/18 corn production at 215.0 million metric tons (mmt), unchanged from last month, down 4.55 mmt or 2 percent from last year. Projected area of 35 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down 5 percent from last year. Area has shown a downward trend in recent years, particularly in the Northeast, as reductions in government support for corn has increased profitability for alternative crops such as soybeans. Yield is forecast at a record 6.14 tons per hectare, unchanged from last month, and up 3 percent from last year. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov)

Aug 10 2017 | China Cotton: Forecast Production Up 2 Percent from Last Month
China’s 2017/18 cotton production is forecast at 24.5 million bales (5.33 million metric tons), up 0.5 million bales or 2 percent from last month, and up 8 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 3.1 million hectares, up 2 percent from last month and 8 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1,707 kilograms per hectare, down slightly from last month but on par with last year’s record yield.

Aug 10 2017 | China Corn: Production is Forecast to Decrease from Last Year
USDA forecasts China’s 2017/18 corn production at 215.0 million tons, unchanged from last month but down 4.6 million or 2 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 35.0 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 5 percent from last year. Area has shown a downward trend in recent years, particularly in the Northeast, as farmers switched to alternative profitable crops such as soybeans, and rice, as well as returning land to pasture. Yield is forecast at a record 6.14 tons per hectare, unchanged from last month, and up 3 percent from last year.

Jun 9 2017 | China Cotton: Production Projected to Increase from Last Month
China’s 2017/18 cotton production is forecast at 24 million bales (5.23 million metric tons), up 0.5 million bales from last month and up 1.25 million bales from last year. Area is forecast at 3.05 million hectares (mha), up 0.05 mha from last month and up 0.15 mha or 5 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at a record 1,713 kilograms per hectare, up slightly from both last month and last year’s record.

May 10 2017 | China Corn: 2017/18 Production Projected to Decrease from Last Year
USDA forecasts China’s 2017/18 corn production at 215.0 million metric tons, down 4.6 million or 2 percent from last year and down almost 1 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 35.0 million hectares, down 1.8 million or 5 percent from last year and only the second consecutive area decline since 2003. Farmers started reducing corn area in 2016 in response to government policy changes and lower market prices. Yield is forecast at a record 6.14 metric tons per hectare, up 3 percent from last year. Planting is typically in May. (For more information, please contact Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov.)

May 10 2017 | China Cotton: 2017/18 Production Projected to Increase from Last Year
China 2017/18 cotton production is forecast at 23.5 million 480-pound bales (5.12 million metric tons), up 3 percent from last year, but still 17 percent below the 5-year average. Yield is estimated at a record 1,706 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), slightly exceeding last year’s yield, and 11 percent above the 5-year average. National yield has been increasing since 2010/11 due to the expansion of area in Xinjiang province, a more productive cotton region. According to provincial statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, average yields in recent years in Xinjiang have been around 1,800 kg/ha.

Mar 9 2017 | China Sorghum: 2016/17 Production Revised Upward
USDA estimates China’s 2016/17 sorghum production at 3.8 million metric tons (mmt), up 0.5 mmt or 15 percent from last month and up 38 percent from last year. The revision is due to an increase in harvested area, which is estimated at 760,000 hectares, up 186,000 or 32 percent from last year. This is the largest sorghum area increase in the last five years. Sorghum has benefited from recent changes in agricultural policies, in particular the removal of corn production subsidies, which resulted in lower corn prices and reduced farmers’ profits. The farmers’ response was in a significant reduction in corn area. The biggest reductions in area have occurred in the northeast, including Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Nei Mongol provinces, where farmers shifted corn acreage to alternative crops such as sorghum, soybean, potatoes, and rice.

Feb 9 2017 | China Cotton: Production Estimate Revised Upward
China 2016/17 cotton production is estimated at 22.5 million 480-pound bales (4.79 million metric tons), up 0.5 million bales or 2 percent from last month, and up 2 percent from last year. The ginning data collected in early February by China National Cotton Exchange (CNCE) indicates lint output is higher than expected in all cotton growing regions. China cotton yield is estimated at a record 1,719 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), up 9.5 percent from last year and up 17 percent from the five year average of 1,465 kg/ha. In recent years the average yields in Xinjiang have been around 1,832 kg/ha; however, in 2016/17 yields are estimated to significantly rise to record levels. The inspection data further shows record yields have been realized in Xinjiang, the major cotton growing province.

Jan 12 2017 | China Cotton: Production Revised Upward
China’s 2016/17 cotton production is estimated at 22 million 480-pound bales (4.79 million metric tons), up 1 million or 5.0 percent from last month, and unchanged from last year. According to ginning data collected by the China National Cotton Exchange (CNCE) in early January, 17.55 million bales have been produced. Nearly all (97 percent) of cotton is from Xinjiang, which is China’s major cotton growing province.

Sep 12 2016 | China Soybeans: Production Forecast Revised Upward
China’s 2016/17 soybean production is forecast at 12.5 million metric tons, up 0.3 million or 2.5 percent from last month and up 7.8 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 7.1 million hectares, up 0.3 million or 4.4 percent from last month and up 10 percent from last year, marking the first area increase since 2009. Farmers have expanded soybean area due to a shift from less profitable corn. Yield is forecast at 1.76 tons per hectare, down 1.6 percent from last month, down 2.1 percent from last year and below the 5-year average. About 50 percent of China’s soybeans are grown in the Northeast. Heilongjiang accounts for about 40 percent of national output. Other major growing provinces include Inner Mongolia, Anhui, Henan, and Shandong provinces.

Sep 12 2016 | China Corn: Estimated Production Revised Downward
USDA forecasts China’s estimated 2016/17 corn production at 216.0 million metric tons, down 2 million or 0.9 percent from last month’s estimate and down 8.58 million or 3.8 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 36.0 million hectares, down 2.1 million or 5.6 percent from last year and the first area decline since 2003. Farmers reduced corn area in 2016 in response to government policy changes and lower market prices. Yield is forecast at 6.0 tons per hectare, down approximately 1 percent from last month but up 1.9 percent from last year. Prior to the start of the growing season, the Chinese government enacted a series of market price and agriculture policy structural changes in an effort to cut corn production for 2016/17. Previous policies (high minimum prices, guaranteed purchases, production subsidies) led to large area and production increases and the accumulation of massive government-owned corn stocks. In 2015 the government lowered the procurement price for the 2015/16 crop by about 10 percent, set a corn area reduction target of about 3 million hectares by 2020, and offered subsidies for farmers to plant alternative crops. In March 2016, the government announced the termination of the government’s procurement program in the Northeast (major corn region). The government also announced that it would put millions of tons of government stocks on the market this summer. These changes have lowered the price of corn on the domestic market and lowered the potential profits for corn farmers, who have reportedly cut corn area and shifted to alternative crops such as soybeans, peanuts, rice, and potatoes. The biggest reductions have occurred in the Northeast, where corn area has expanded the most in recent years, including Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Nei Mongol provinces.

Jun 11 2016 | China Cotton: 2016/17 Production Revised Downward
China’s 2016/17 cotton production is forecast at 21.5 million (480 lb.) bales (4.68 million metric tons), down 1.0 million or 4.4 percent from last month and down 1.0 million or 4.4 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 2.9 million hectares, down 0.2 million or 6.5 percent from both last month and last year. The 2015/16 cotton estimates have also been updated based on revisions to the cotton statistics, especially in eastern China. Production for 2015/16 is estimated at 22.5 million bales, area at 3.1 million hectares, and yield at 1,580 kilograms per hectare.

May 10 2016 | China Corn: Policy Changes Affect 2016/17 Area
China’s 2016/17 corn production is forecast at 218.0 million tons, down 6.6 million or 2.9 percent from last year’s record crop. Area is estimated at 36.0 million hectares, down 2.1 million or 5.6 percent from last year’s record area and the first decline since 2003. Farmers are expected to reduce corn area in 2016 in response to policy changes and lower prices. Yield is forecast at a record 6.06 tons per hectare, up 2.8 percent from last year and equal to the 10-year trend.

Mar 9 2016 | China Corn: Record Production Due to Higher Area and Yield
China corn production for 2015/16 is estimated at 224.6 million metric tons, up 8.9 million or 4.1 percent from last year based on higher area and yield. Area is estimated at a record 38.1 million hectares, up 2.7 percent from last year. Area has increased each of the last ten years and is now nearly 10 million hectares higher than in 2006/07. The largest area increases have occurred in Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia (located in Northeast China) where corn has displaced soybeans and minor grain crops. The estimated yield of 5.89 metric tons per hectare (mt/ha) is up 1.4 percent from last year, but below the record yield of 6.02 mt/ha set in 2013/14. Although most corn-growing areas of China had generally favorable weather last summer, localized summer drought had a negative impact on yields in parts of northern China.

Jan 12 2016 | China Corn: Production Rebounds from Last Year’s Drought Stricken Crop
China’s 2015/16 corn production estimate was revised slightly this month to a record 224.6 million metric tons, up 8.9 million tons from last year due to higher planted area and improved yield. Harvested area is estimated at 38.1 million hectares, up 1.0 million hectares from last year and is the tenth consecutive year-toyear area increase. Yield is estimated at 5.89 tons per hectare, up 1.4 percent from last year but down 2.0 percent from the record set in 2013/14.

Dec 9 2015 | China Cotton: Area and Yield Revised Downward
China’s 2015/16 cotton production is estimated at 24.3 million bales (5.3 million tons), down 0.7 million bales from last month and down 5.7 million bales from last year. Area is estimated at a record-low 3.45 million hectares, down 0.05 million hectares from last month and down 0.95 million hectares from last year. Yield is estimated at 1,534 kilograms per hectare, down slightly from last month but up 3.5 percent from last year.

Aug 12 2015 | China Cotton: Area and Yield Revised Downward
China’s 2015/16 cotton production is forecast at 26.0 million bales (5.66 million tons), down 1.0 million tons from last month and down 4.0 million tons from last year. Area is estimated at a record-low 3.63 million hectares, down 0.075 million hectares from last month and down 0.78 million from last year. Recent changes to China’s cotton policy resulted in lower prices and greater uncertainty for cotton farmers, who responded by shifting from cotton to other crops (such as corn and rice) that offered higher returns. The estimated area in eastern China is down about 30 percent from last year, and recent government reports indicate larger-than-expected area reductions (8 to 13 percent) in Xinjiang province. Cotton yield is forecast at a record 1562 kilograms per hectare, down 1.7 percent from last month but up 5.2 percent from last year. The month-to-month reduction is mainly due to unfavorable weather in Xinjiang. Record-breaking temperatures in July (up to 40° C. in many locations) persisted for several weeks and stressed cotton in the flowering/boll-formation stage. Hot and dry weather in July also affected reproductive cotton in parts of the North China Plain, while heavy and persistent rain had a negative impact on cotton in parts of the Yangtze River basin. Bolls will start opening by the end of August and harvest will take place in September and October. (For more information, please contact Paulette.Sandene@fas.usda.gov)

Aug 12 2015 | China Corn: Higher Area and Yield Lead to Record Corn Crop
China’s 2015/16 corn production is forecast at a record 225.0 million tons, down 4.0 million tons from last month but up 9.3 million tons from last year’s crop. Harvested area is estimated at a record 37.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 0.78 million hectares from last year. China’s corn area has been increasing steadily for more than a decade in response to favorable government policies and higher profits compared to competing crops such as cotton and soybeans. Yield is forecast at 5.94 tons per hectare, down 2 percent from last month but up 2 percent from last year. Hot and unusually dry weather in July had a negative impact on reproductive corn in parts of Northeast China and the North China Plain, particularly in Liaoning and Jilin provinces. Recent moderate to heavy rainfall has eased the drought in these areas and growing conditions have stabilized. Most of China’s corn crop is in the reproductive to filling stage, and the weather in August will have a major impact on the final yield. (For more information, please contact Paulette.Sandene@fas.usda.gov)

May 12 2015 | China Cotton: 2015/16 Crop Production at 12-Year Low
China’s 2015/16 cotton production is estimated at 27.0 million bales, down 3.0 million bales or 10 percent from last year and the smallest crop since 2003/04. The estimated area of 3.70 million hectares is down 16 percent from last year and is the lowest area since 1949. Yield is forecast at a record 1,589 kilograms per hectare, up 7.1 percent from last year. The reduction in area is related to changes in China’s cotton policy that were introduced in 2014 and expanded in 2015. The previous guaranteed-purchase policy, which resulted in huge government-owned stocks and domestic cotton prices that were much higher than the world price, was replaced with a target price-based support policy. The new policy has resulted in lower profits for cotton farmers, who have responded by shifting from cotton to other crops (such as rice and corn) that offer higher returns or receive greater government support. In April, the National Bureau of Statistics forecast an 11-percent reduction in national cotton area for 2015/16, while several industry analysts have forecast an area reduction of more than 20 percent. The largest area reduction is expected to occur in the Yellow and Yangtze River basins, where high labor costs, declining cotton prices, and uncertain government support have discouraged cotton farmers. Planted area is expected to remain close to last year in Xinjiang, where cotton enjoys a strong comparative advantage and yields are the highest in the country. Cotton planting began in early April and will conclude in May. Unusually cool and wet weather in March and early April caused minor planting delays in northern Xinjiang and the Yangtze River basin, while dryness and spring sandstorms hindered planting in parts of southern Xinjiang and the North China Plain. However, the weather has been generally favorable for cotton seedling development in recent weeks as indicated by satellite imagery. (For more information, please contact Paulette.Sandene@fas.usda.gov.)

Dec 10 2014 | China Corn: Revised Area and Production Estimates
USDA revised China’s 2014/15 corn area and production estimates this month based on the latest data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Estimated production was raised to 215.5 million tons, up 1.5 million from last month but down 3 million tons from last year’s record crop. Estimated area was raised to a record 37.0 million hectares, up 200,000 from last month and up 1.9 percent from last year’s record. Corn area has increased steadily for several years in response to high domestic prices and government support programs. Yield is estimated at 5.82 tons per hectare, unchanged from last month but down 3.2 percent from last year. Serious drought during the critical reproduction and grain-fill stages reduced yields in several important corn-producing provinces.

Nov 10 2014 | China Corn: Production Down in 2014/15 Due to Lower Estimated Yield
China’s 2014/15 corn production is estimated at 214.0 million tons, down 3.0 million tons or 1.0 percent from last month and down 4.5 million tons or 2.0 percent from last year’s record crop. Area is estimated at 36.8 million hectares, surpassing last year’s record by 1.0 percent. Area has shown a strong upward trend in recent years, particularly in Northeast China, as farmers have switched to corn from lessprofitable crops such as soybeans. Yield is estimated at 5.82 tons per hectare, down 1 percent from last month and down 3.4 percent from last year’s record. The revision is based on information from crop models and satellite imagery, and reports from local government and industry sources.

Jun 11 2013 | China Wheat: Record Yield and Production Expected in 2014/15
USDA estimates China’s 2014/15 wheat production at a record 124.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 0.8 percent from last month and up 1.9 percent from last year. The previous record of 123.3 million was set in 1997/98 when planted area was significantly higher. Area is estimated at 24.2 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up slightly from a year ago. Yield is estimated at 5.12 tons per hectare up 1.7 percent from last year’s record yield. China’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) reported that the 2014 winter wheat harvest was about 25 percent complete as of June 2 and progressing rapidly. MOA indicates output was expected to exceed last year’s bumper crop due to slightly higher planted area (up around 60,000 hectares), mostly favorable weather, and effective control of pests and diseases. Record yields and production have been reported by farmers in Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, and Hubei provinces. Better-than-average yields have been reported in Shandong and Hebei provinces; both provinces experienced drought conditions in early spring but received timely rainfall in April and May. Near to below-normal precipitation is forecast for the next two weeks of June in the main wheat-growing provinces. This will benefit harvest activities and limit the threat of lateseason losses from storms or flooding.

Aug 12 2013 | China Cotton: Unusual Weather in Major Cotton Regions
China’s cotton production for 2013/14 is forecast at 33.0 million bales (7.185 million tons), down 3 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.1 million hectares is unchanged this month but down 4 percent from last year. Farmers reduced cotton area in eastern China for several reasons: high grain prices, rising production costs, yield volatility, and weak demand. Planted area remained stable in western China. Cotton yield is forecast at 1,409 kilograms per hectare, down 3 percent from last month and down 2 percent from last year’s record yield. The yield revision is based on less-than ideal summer weather in several of China’s important cotton regions.

Aug 12 2013 | China Rice: Lower Yield Due to Drought in Southern China
China’s rice production for 2013/14 is estimated at 143.0 million tons (milled basis), down 1 million tons or nearly 1 percent from last month but equal to last year’s record output. The estimated area of 30.6 million hectares is unchanged from last month but up 0.3 million from last year. Planted area has increased steadily over the past 10 years in response to government policies. The estimated yield of 6.68 tons per hectare is down nearly 1 percent from last month but close to the 5-year average.

Sep 11 2014 | China Corn: 2014/15 Crop Affected by Drought
USDA estimates China’s 2014/15 corn production at 217.0 million tons, down 5.0 million or 2.3 percent from last month and down 1.5 million or less than 1 percent from last year. The estimated area of 36.8 million hectares is unchanged from last month but up 1.3 percent from last year. Corn area has shown a strong upward trend in recent years, particularly in the Northeast, as farmers have switched from less-profitable crops such as soybeans to corn. The estimated yield of 5.9 tons per hectare is down 2.1 percent from last month and last year’s record yield of 6.02 tons per hectare.

Jan 10 2014 | China Corn: Area, Yield and Production Set New Records
The USDA estimates China’s 2013/14 corn production at a record 217.0 million tons, up 6.0 million or 2.8 percent from last month and up 5.5 percent from last year’s record crop. Area is estimated at 36.1 million hectares, up 0.5 million from last month and more than 1.0 million from last year’s record area. The revisions are based on preliminary 2013 data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics and a review of seasonal weather. Much of the area increase likely came at the expense of soybean area in Northeast China, particularly in Heilongjiang province, where profits from corn are considerably higher than for soybeans. Farmers in China also reduced planted area for cotton and minor grains in 2013, freeing up additional land for corn. Yield is estimated at a record 6.0 tons per hectare, up 1.4 percent from last month and 2.4 percent from last year. China’s corn yield has been trending upward for the past 10 years for several reasons, including the introduction of hybrid seeds, better management, and strong government support for grain farmers.

Jan 10 2014 | China Cotton: Production Revised Upward
The USDA estimates China’s cotton production for 2013/14 at 33.0 million bales, up 1.0 million or 3.1 percent from last month but down 2.0 million or 5.7 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.15 million hectares is up 0.10 million or 2.0 percent from last month but down 0.15 million or 2.8 percent from last year. Cotton area declined this year in eastern China for several reasons, including high grain prices, rising production costs, yield volatility, and weak demand. However, planted area in Xinjiang province increased by an estimated 7 percent in 2013 in response to favorable returns in 2012. China’s cotton yield is estimated at 1395 kilograms per hectare, up slightly from last month, but down 3.0 percent from last year’s record yield. The drop in yield was due to periods of unfavorable summer weather in several of China’s important cotton regions, including heavy rainfall on the North China Plain and severe drought in the Yangtze River basin.

Jan 10 2014 | China Wheat: Production Up Slightly
The USDA estimates China’s 2013/14 wheat crop at 122.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or nearly 1 percent from last month and last year. The revision is based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics and other government agencies. Yield is estimated at a record 5.05 tons per hectare, up 1.2 percent from last month and 1.3 percent from last year’s record. Estimated area was lowered slightly this month to 24.15 million hectares, down less than 1 percent from last year and equal to the 5-year average. Wheat area has remained remarkably stable for the past 5 years at 24.1 to 24.3 million hectares. Winter wheat accounts for more than 90 percent of China’s total output. It is concentrated in several provinces on the North China Plain, where the climate is suitable and irrigation supplies are readily available. China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that winter wheat production increased in 2013 despite drought conditions in parts of the North China Plain. Area and production of spring wheat, grown in western and northern China, have been declining for several years as farmers shift to higher-yielding crops.

Aug 12 2014 | China Wheat: Record Yield and Production
USDA estimates China’s 2014/15 wheat crop at a record 126.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 1.6 percent from last month and up 4.1 million or 3.3 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 24.1 million hectares, down slightly from last month and last year. The estimated yield of 5.23 tons per hectare is up 2.0 percent from last month and up 3.4 percent from last year’s record yield. August 2014 3 Winter wheat accounts for about 95 percent of China’s total wheat output. China’s 2014/15 winter wheat crop was planted in October 2013 and harvested in June 2014. Overall, the weather during the growing season was favorable. Temperatures and soil moisture were suitable at planting, and the crop entered dormancy in good condition. The weather in December and January was seasonably dry, and temperatures were relatively mild. Drought conditions developed in a few wheat areas, which increased the need for supplemental irrigation. However, the arrival of cool, wet weather in February raised soil moisture levels as the crop came out of dormancy, and timely rainfall in April and May created favorable conditions for reproduction and grain fill. Insect and disease problems were well controlled this year. The crop matured ahead of schedule, and mostly dry weather in June allowed the harvest to be completed with few delays or post-harvest losses. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, wheat yield increased in each of China’s 11 main wheat growing provinces, and the quality of the crop was better than average. China’s small spring wheat crop (less than 5 percent of total production) is grown in the northern and western parts of the country. Harvesting will be complete in August.

Mar 10 2014 | China Corn: Record Yield and Record Production
China’s 2013/14 corn production is estimated at 217.7 million metric tons, up 0.73 million tons from last month and up 5.9 percent from last year. The revision is based on official government data released in February by the National Bureau of Statistics. The estimated area of 36.1 million hectares is unchanged this month but up 3.1 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 6.03 tons per hectare, up slightly from last month and up 2.8 percent from a year ago. China’s corn area has increased significantly (up almost 5 million hectares since 2009/10) in response to its rising demand for feed grains and government policies that supported grain production. Profits for corn were higher than for competing crops such as soybeans and cotton, which lost area as farmers shifted to corn. The weather was generally favorable on the North China Plain and the main production areas of Northeast China during the 2013/14 growing season. High yields in these areas offset yield losses caused by severe flooding in Heilongjiang and summer drought in central and southern China.

Mar 10 2014 | China Peanut: Production Supported by Strong Demand
China’s 2013/14 peanut production is estimated at 17.0 million metric tons, up 0.4 million tons or 2.4 percent from last month and 1.8 percent from last year. The estimate is based on data from Chinese government sources. The estimated area of 4.71 million hectares is up slightly from last month and up 1.5 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 3.6 tons per hectare is slightly above last year’s yield. There is strong domestic demand for peanuts as a food crop (snacks, cooking oil). Favorable prices relative to other cash crops makes peanuts a popular crop among farmers on the North China Plain and Northeast China. However, further area expansion is limited by the overall shortage of arable land in these regions.

Apr 9 2014 | China Barley: Production Revised Downward
China’s 2013/14 barley production is estimated at 1.5 million tons, down 0.8 million or 35 percent from last month and down 7.7 percent from last year’s crop of 1.63 million tons. Estimated area for 2013/14 was lowered to 450,000 hectares, down 29 percent from last month and down 8.2 percent from last year’s revised area. The estimated yield of 3.3 million tons per hectare is equal to last year’s revised yield but below the 5-year average. The changes are based on official data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Farmers in Jiangsu and Gansu provinces reportedly have switched from barley to more profitable crops such as corn and winter wheat. Unlike corn and wheat, barley production is not supported by the government (through subsidies or purchasing programs) since it’s not considered important for food security. Barley in China is mainly used for beer production, which has been steadily increasing for the past decade. Barley imports for beer rose by 10 percent in 2013/14, mostly from Australia, Canada, and Argentina, due to lower domestic barley production.

Jul 11 2014 | China Corn: Record Crop Forecast in 2014/15
USDA forecasts China’s 2014/15 corn crop at a record 222.0 million tons, up 2 million or 0.9 percent from last month and up 3.5 million or 1.6 percent from last year’s revised output of 218.5 million tons. Area is estimated at 36.8 million hectares, up 0.8 percent from last month and 1.3 percent from last year’s record area of 36.3 million. Revisions to the 2013/14 area and production estimates this month were based on data published in China’s 2014 Statistical Abstract. Corn area has increased by more than 10 million hectares in the past decade, while planted area for rice and wheat has risen slightly. Most of the growth in corn area took place in Northeast China, where new farmland was developed and soybean and spring wheat acreage was converted to more-profitable corn. Corn area has also increased on the North China Plain, often at the expense of cotton area. Yield, forecast at 6.03 tons per hectare, is unchanged from last month and essentially equal to last year’s record yield. The spring-sown crop in Northeast China is now in the reproductive stage, while the summer-sown crop on the North China Plain will enter the reproductive stage in August. Weather and soil moisture conditions are currently close to normal, and no major flooding, droughts or pest/disease problems have occurred so far this season.

May 9 2014 | China Cotton: Lower Estimated Area Due to Reduction in Price Incentives
China’s cotton production for 2014/15 is forecast at 29.5 million bales (6.42 million tons), down 2.5 million or 7.8 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 4.35 million hectares, down 0.55 million or 11 percent from last year and the lowest area since 2000/01. This area reduction is partially offset by a higher forecast yield of 1,477 kilograms per hectare, up 3.9 percent from last year. China’s overall cotton yield is expected to increase as planted area declines in low-yielding regions in eastern China and becomes increasingly concentrated in northwest China, where cotton yields are generally higher. A recent change in government policy is expected to reduce farmer payments and financial incentives for planting cotton in 2014. The new cotton production support policy for marketing year 2014/15 is applicable only to farmers in Xinjiang (in northwest China) and pays a direct subsidy based on a target price instead of price support purchases. The former policy had led to the accumulation of massive government-owned stocks and market-distorting domestic cotton prices. The program changes for 2014/15 are expected to cause a significant reduction in cotton area, particularly in the Yangtze and Yellow River regions, where the financial uncertainty of the new support program and higher profits for competing crops is expected to pull acreage from cotton.

Jun 17 2014 | China Wheat: Record Yield and Production Expected in 2014/15
USDA estimates China’s 2014/15 wheat production at a record 124.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 0.8 percent from last month and up 1.9 percent from last year. The previous record of 123.3 million was set in 1997/98 when planted area was significantly higher. Area is estimated at 24.2 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up slightly from a year ago. Yield is estimated at 5.12 tons per hectare up 1.7 percent from last year’s record yield. China’s Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) reported that the 2014 winter wheat harvest was about 25 percent complete as of June 2 and progressing rapidly. MOA indicates output was expected to exceed last year’s bumper crop due to slightly higher planted area (up around 60,000 hectares), mostly favorable weather, and effective control of pests and diseases. Record yields and production have been reported by farmers in Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, and Hubei provinces. Better-than-average yields have been reported in Shandong and Hebei provinces; both provinces experienced drought conditions in early spring but received timely rainfall in April and May. Near to below-normal precipitation is forecast for the next two weeks of June in the main wheat-growing provinces. This will benefit harvest activities and limit the threat of late season losses from storms or flooding.

May 13 2013 | China Cotton: Area Forecast Down in 2013/14
Cotton production for 2013/14 is forecast at 34.0 million bales (7.4 million tons), down 3 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.1 million hectares is down 0.2 million or 4 percent from last year. China’s cotton area has declined by more than 1 million hectares since the record of 6.2 million hectares in 2007/08. Yield is forecast at 1452 kilograms per hectare, up 1 percent from last year’s record yield. One reason for the rising yield trend is the significant shift of planted area from low-yielding provinces in eastern China to high-yielding Xinjiang province in the Northwest. According to several industry and government planting intention surveys, national cotton area is forecast to decline by 5 to 10 percent in 2013/14. The largest area reductions (as large as 20 percent) are expected in the North China Plain, where rising production costs, yield volatility, and high grain support prices have discouraged cotton cultivation. Farmers in the Yangtze River basin were also expected to reduce area this year, particularly in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces in response to higher profits from rice and other grains. In contrast, planted area is expected to increase slightly in Xinjiang province, where farmers have benefitted from consistently high yields, strong government and private investment, and high profits. Xinjiang now accounts for more than 45 percent of China’s total cotton area. Planting in Xinjiang started in early April and progressed smoothly. The weather was favorably warm and emergence was reportedly better than last year. Planting and emergence in the lower Yellow River basin was delayed by cool and wet weather in April, while drought conditions affected fieldwork in parts of the upper Yellow River basin (Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia) and western Henan. Recent showers have improved soil moisture levels in this region. In the Yangtze River basin, warm and dry weather in March and April were suitable for cotton planting and emergence. Plant growth was reportedly progressing well. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Mar 8 2013 | China Rapeseed: Area and Production Revised Upward
China’s 2012/13 rapeseed production was raised this month to 13.5 million tons, up 0.9 million or 7 percent from last month and up 1 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 1.88 tons per hectare is up 4 percent from last month and 3 percent from last year. Rapeseed area is estimated at 7.2 million hectares, up 0.2 million or 3 percent from last month but down 2 percent from a year ago. Chinese government sources have recently published updated 2012/13 oilseed area and production estimates at the provincial and national level. In February, China’s National Grain and Oilseed Information Center sharply revised its 2012/13 production estimate from 12.2 to 13.8 million tons, a month-to-month increase of 13 percent. The new estimate is consistent with previously published data from the National Bureau of Statistics that indicated a higher-than-expected area and production of oilseeds in 2012/13. In addition, preliminary 2012/13 statistics by province indicate that oilseed production was similar or greater than last year in several major rapeseed-growing provinces. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Feb 8 2013 | China Cotton: 2012/13 Production Greater than Expected
Cotton production for 2012/13 is estimated at 34.0 million bales (7.4 million tons), up 0.5 million or 1.5 percent from last month and up nearly 3 percent from last year. Estimated area was increased to 5.3 million hectares, up 1 percent from last month but down 2 percent from a year ago. Yield is estimated at 1403 kilograms per hectare, unchanged from last month but up 5 percent from last year’s record yield. The revision this month is based on updated harvest, procurement, and cotton shipment data from Chinese government and cotton industry sources. In particular, harvest results continue to exceed previous expectations in Northwest China, where higher planted area and favorable weather during the 2012 growing season resulted in record output. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jan 11 2013 | China Cotton: Production in 2012/13 Larger than Expected
Cotton production for 2012/13 is estimated at 33.5 million bales (7.3 million tons), up 2.0 million, or 6 percent, from last month and up 1 percent from last year. The estimated output is slightly below the 5-year average and well below the record set in 2007/08 (37.0 million bales). The estimated area of 5.2 million hectares is up 4 percent this month but down 4 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 1,403 kilograms per hectare, up 2 percent from last month and up 5 percent from last year. Record yields in Northwest China are expected to offset yield reductions in eastern China, which suffered from excessive rainfall and typhoon damage during the latter part of the growing season. The revisions are based on procurement and classification data published by official Chinese sources, which indicate greater-than-expected output in 2012/13. The increased production came almost entirely from Xinjiang province (Northwest China), which now accounts for more than half of China’s total cotton crop. Favorable weather, increased planted area, heavy investment in irrigation and mechanization, and supportive government procurement policies have all contributed to the remarkable output in Xinjiang this year. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Dec 11 2012 | China Corn: 2012/13 Production Sets New Record
China’s 2012/13 corn production is estimated at a record 208.0 million tons, up 8.0 million or 4 percent from last month and up 8 percent from last year’s record crop of 192.8 million tons. Corn area is estimated at 34.95 million hectares, up 0.65 million from last month and up 1.4 million from last year. The revisions are based on official data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and supported by USDA analysis. Much of the area increase likely came at the expense of soybean area in Northeast China, particularly in Heilongjiang province, where farmers report that profits are considerably higher for corn than for soybeans. Yield is estimated at a record 5.96 tons per hectare, up 2 percent from last month and up 4 percent from last year. China’s corn yield has been trending upward for the past 10 years, increasing by more than 20 percent since 2003/04. Reasons for the rising yields include the introduction of hybrid seeds, better management, and strong government support (through procurement prices and subsidies) for corn farmers. Abundant rainfall benefited crops in normally-dry regions of Northeast and north China, and extensive irrigation mitigated the impact of periodic drought on the North China Plain. A typhoon caused flooding and significant lodging in parts of the Northeast in August and September, but the losses were offset by higher planted area and higher yields in other areas. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, a widespread outbreak of army worms in August that had threatened the corn crop in northern China was less serious than anticipated. (For more information, please contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Dec 11 2012 | China Wheat: Higher Production in 2012/13
China’s 2012/13 wheat output is estimated at 120.6 million tons, up 2.6 million or 2 percent from last month and up 3.2 million from a year ago. The estimated area of 24.14 million hectares is down slightly from both last month and last year. Estimated yield was increased this month to a record 5.0 tons per hectare, up 3 percent from a year ago. The revisions are based on the latest official data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, all 11 major winter wheat-producing provinces reported higher yields in 2012, the ninth consecutive year of stable or rising yields. Favorably wet planting weather, moderate winter temperatures, well-timed spring precipitation, and mostly dry harvest weather all contributed to a bumper winter wheat crop in 2012. Growing conditions for the spring wheat crop (produced in northern and western China) were also favorable this year, resulting in higher estimated spring wheat yield. (For more information, please contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 11 2012 | China Cotton: Lower Area but Record Yield Expected in 2012/13
China’s 2012/13 cotton production is estimated at 31.5 million bales, up 0.5 million or about 2 percent from last month but down nearly 5 percent from last year’s revised estimate of 33.1 million bales (from 33.5 million). The estimated area of 5.0 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down 9 percent from last year. The 2012/13 yield is estimated at a record 1372 kilograms per hectare, up 5 percent from a year ago. Record yields in northwest China are expected to offset yield reductions in eastern China, which suffered from excessive rainfall and typhoon damage during the growing season. The weather in October has been generally favorable for cotton harvesting in most areas, and yield prospects have improved since last month. Harvesting is underway across the country and will continue through October. According to preliminary industry and government reports, cotton area declined in nearly every province in 2012, particularly those in the Yellow and Yangtze River basins. China’s cotton area has been declining in recent years (down 1.2 million hectares since 2007/08) as farmers shift from cotton to grains (primarily corn) in response to high corn prices, government incentives to increase grain output, rising cotton production costs, and competition from lower-priced imports. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 10 2012 | China Corn: Favorable Weather Raises Production Prospects
China’s 2012/13 corn production is forecast at a record 200.0 million tons, up 5.0 million or 2.6 percent from last month and up 3.7 percent from last year’s record crop. Corn production in China has doubled in the past 20 years (from 95.4 million tons in 1992/93) due to both increased planted area and rising yields. The estimated area of 34.3 million hectares is unchanged this month but up 0.9 million from last year. According to reports from industry and government analysts, satellite imagery, and crop yield models, it appears that China’s corn yields in 2012/13 may exceed earlier expectations. The revised yield forecast of 5.83 tons per hectare is up 1 percent from last year and slightly above the 10-year trend.The overall weather pattern has been favorable for corn growth this summer. Above-normal rainfall in July covered most of the Northeast, one of China’s most important corn production areas. This was especially beneficial for Inner Mongolia, which is often affected by drought. Weather conditions were mixed in the North China Plain, another important corn-growing region. Much of the region was drier than normal during planting in June, and temperatures were unusually warm (1-5 C above normal) at the end of July in some areas, particularly in Shandong. However, most of the region had moderate to heavy rain during July, and soil moisture levels are fair to good as the crop enters the tassel/filling stage in August. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 10 2012 | China Cotton: Higher Yield Expected in 2012/13
The USDA estimates China’s cotton production for 2012/13 at 31.0 million bales (6.75 million tons), up 0.5 million or about 2 percent from last month but down 2.5 million or 7.5 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.0 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down 9 percent from a year ago. The forecast yield of 1350 kilograms per hectare is up nearly 2 percent from last year and above the 5-year average. The weather was generally favorable for cotton development during July. Soil moisture levels were adequate and temperatures were seasonably warm to hot, which was conducive to normal growth. Cumulative rainfall was near normal in the major cotton-growing regions during July, although locally heavy rain in parts of the North China Plain (particularly Hebei, Tianjin, and northern Shandong) may have damaged a small amount of cotton. A recent report by the China Cotton Association indicated that the crop (in the flowering/bud formation stage) was growing well and the condition of the crop was better than average. No significant insect or disease outbreaks have been reported this year. Several tropical storms have brought heavy rain to coastal cotton areas (Jiangsu, Shandong) in early August, but there have been few reports of crop damage as a result. However, cotton yields could be affected if the stormy weather continues into August, when cotton bolls start opening. Harvesting normally starts in early September and continues through October. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jul 11 2012 | China Wheat: Yields Above Average, but Below Expectation
The USDA estimates China wheat production at 118.0 million tons, down 2.0 million or nearly 2 percent from last month but up slightly from last year’s bumper crop. Area was revised upward to 24.3 million hectares based on official data from the Ministry of Agriculture. The estimated yield of 4.86 tons per hectare is down 2 percent from last month but nearly equal to last year’s record yield and above the 5-year average.Winter wheat accounts for about 93 percent of China’s total wheat output. The 2012/13 winter wheat harvest began in mid-May and concluded before the end of June. According to Chinese officials and industry sources, excessive rainfall in April and May had a negative impact on wheat yields in parts of southwest and central China. Wheat scab, aphids, mold, poor grain formation, and lodging were reported in these areas. In contrast, the weather on the North China Plain (China’s most important wheat-growing region) was abnormally hot and dry in May, when the crop was in the reproductive to grain-fill stage. Although the majority of the wheat crop on the North China Plain is irrigated, farmers in several provinces reported drought and heat stress resulted in lower-than-expected yields. On the other hand, the predominately-dry weather in June allowed the wheat harvest to proceed smoothly and quickly, thereby reducing drying costs and post-harvest losses. The spring wheat crop (about 7 percent of total production) is mostly grown in northwest and northeast China. The crop was planted in April and is currently in the filling stage, with harvest taking place in July and August. The weather has been favorably warm and wet for spring wheat development this year, and yields are expected to be equal to or better than last year. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jun 12 2012 | China Corn: Record Area and Production Forecast
China’s corn production for 2012/13 is forecast at 195.0 million tons, up 2.2 million or 1 percent from last month and up 1 percent from last year’s revised estimate of 192.8 million tons. The estimated area of 34.3 million hectares is up 1 percent from last month and nearly 3 percent from last year. Increased demand for feed grain and high corn prices have led to a remarkable expansion of corn area in the past few years, mainly at the expense of soybean area. The forecast yield of 5.69 tons per hectare is essentially unchanged from last month but down 1.5 percent from last year’s record yield. The growing conditions have been generally favorable for the spring-sown crop in Northeast China. However, unusually warm and dry weather on parts of the North China Plain in May has caused concern for the summer corn crop which will be planted after the winter wheat harvest in June. Additional rain is needed to provide adequate moisture for timely planting and proper germination. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jun 12 2012 | China Soybean: Production Forecast at Lowest Level in 20 Years
China’s 2012/13 soybean production is forecast at 12.6 million tons, down 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and down 7 percent from last year. The forecast implies that China will harvest its smallest soybean crop in the past 20 years, some 13 percent below the 5-year average. Total soybean area was revised this month to 7.2 million hectares, down 0.3 million or 4 percent from last month and down nearly 6 percent from last year. Most of this reduction took place in Heilongjiang, China’s most important soybean province. Farmers there have reportedly reduced soybean area this year in favor of allocating more land to corn and rice, which have been much more profitable in recent years. The forecast yield of 1.75 tons per hectare is unchanged from last month and 4 percent above the 5-year average. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

May 10 2012 | China Cotton: Area and Production Forecast Down by 9 Percent
China cotton production for 2012/13 is forecast at 30.5 million bales (6.64 million tons), down 3.0 million or 9 percent from last year. The forecast area of 5.0 million hectares is down more than 9 percent from a year ago and down 1.2 million hectares from its peak of 6.2 million in 2007/08. The forecast yield of 1326 kilograms per hectare is nearly the same as last year and slightly below the record yield of 1335 kg/ha from 2009/10. Yields have been fairly flat (between 1300 and 1335 kg/ha) since 2006/07.Planting-intention reports from several sources all agreed that farmers would reduce cotton area in 2012/13 by 5 to 10 percent nationally. The provinces with the largest reductions (as much as 20 percent) are located in eastern and central China. Area reductions are expected to be relatively small in Xinjiang province, which now accounts for about one-third of China’s cotton area and nearly one-half of cotton output. Cotton planting started in mid-April and progressed without major problems. Temperatures, rainfall, and soil moisture levels in April and early May were generally favorable for planting, germination and emergence. Spring sandstorms in Northwest China and locally excessive rainfall in parts of eastern China may have caused minor damage to the newly planted cotton crop, but no significant losses were reported. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Dec 9 2011 | China Grain Production Shatters Records in 2011/12
On December 2, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that total grain production in 2011 had reached a record 571.2 million tons, up 24.7 million from last year and marking the eighth consecutive year of increasing production. This estimate is significantly higher than the government’s preliminary total grain estimate, which was in the 550- to 560- million-ton range. According to NBS, the summer grain crop (primarily winter wheat) increased by an estimated 3.12 million tons this year, while the early rice crop increased by 1.43 million or 4.5 percent. Autumn grain (which includes single-crop rice, corn, beans, tubers, late rice, and other grains) increased by an estimated 20.18 million tons in 2011. The NBS announcement also included specific area and production data for the 2011/12 corn, rice, and wheat crops, which USDA has adopted this month.China - Corn Output Reaches New Heights: The USDA estimates corn production for 2011/12 at 191.75 million tons, up 7.25 million or 4 percent from last month and up 14.5 million or 8 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 33.4 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last month and up 0.9 million or nearly three percent from last year. Almost all of this increased area was due to farmers in Northeast China shifting from soybeans to corn in response to high corn prices. The estimated yield of 5.74 tons per hectare is up 3 percent from last month and up 5 percent from last year. The yield is also above the 10-year trend. The revisions are based on official data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. According to Chinese government officials and industry sources, China achieved its record corn yield in 2011/12 for a number of reasons, including timely and well-distributed rainfall in key production regions, favorable light and heat conditions, fewer than normal weather disasters, and an extended frost-free period at the end of the growing season in Northeast China.China - Soybeans Losing Ground to Corn: Soybean output in 2011/12 is estimated at 13.5 million tons, down 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and down 11 percent from last year. The estimated area of 7.65 million hectares is down 7 percent from last month and down 10 percent from a year ago. In recent years, high production costs and low profits from soybeans, as well as rising prices for corn, have caused farmers to reduce soybean acreage in favor of corn. This shift has been especially pronounced in Heilongjiang, China’s most important soybean growing province. The estimated yield of 1.76 tons per hectare is essentially the same as last year but above the 5-year average. China’s production of soybeans has been stagnant since the 1990’s, while its demand for soybeans (used mainly for feed) has soared. To meet this demand, China has increased its soybean imports from less than 1 million tons in 1995/96 to more than 56 million tons in 2011/12. Imported soybeans now account for nearly 80 percent of China’s domestic consumption. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)China - Record Wheat Crop: Wheat production in 2011/12 is estimated at a record 117.9 million tons, up 0.9 million or 1 percent from last month and up 2.7 million or 2 percent from last year. The estimated area of 24.2 million hectares is down slightly from last month and last year. Winter wheat area, estimated at 22.6 million hectares, accounts for more than 93 percent of China’s total wheat planted area. Yield is estimated at a record 4.87 tons per hectare, up nearly 3 percent from last year. The revisions are based on official data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Despite a serious winter/spring drought that affected many key wheat-growing provinces, China was able to achieve a successful wheat harvest through intensive irrigation, careful crop management, and the timely arrival of spring rainfall.

Nov 9 2011 | China Rice: Record Rice Crop Expected in 2011/12
The USDA estimates China’s 2011/12 milled rice production at 141.0 million tons (201.4 million tons, rough basis), up 2.0 million from last month and up 4.0 million or 3 percent from last year. The expected crop is slightly higher than the previous record set in 1997/98. China’s rice area is estimated at 30.35 million hectares, up 450,000 hectares or 1.4 percent from last month and up 2 percent from last year. Recent crop surveys indicate that rice area in Northeast China increased significantly in 2011/12 in response to high prices and strong demand for the locally-grown Japonica rice. Information from government and industry sources also report slightly higher planted area estimates for both the early and late rice crops in 2011. The estimated yield of 6.64 tons per hectare is nearly unchanged from last month, up 1 percent from last year, and close to the 10-year trend. Harvesting of the early and single rice crops is complete, while the late rice harvest is underway and will end later this month. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Nov 9 2011 | China Corn: 2011/12 Corn Area and Production Revised Upward
The USDA estimates China’s 2011/12 corn production at a record 184.5 million tons, up 2.5 million or 1.4 percent from last month and up 4 percent from last year. Corn area for 2011/12 is estimated at 33.2 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last month and up 0.7 million or 2 percent from last year. Area has increased by more than 30 percent since 2002/03 for several reasons, including the rising demand for feed, the expansion of corn-based industrial production, and high corn profits compared to other crops. The estimated yield of 5.56 tons per hectare is up 2 percent from last year and matches the record set in 2008/09. Harvesting started in mid-September and is now complete. Except for some storm damage in southern China and abnormally cool and wet weather on parts of the North China Plain, weather conditions for the maturing 2011/12 corn crop in October were generally favorable, particularly in the Northeast. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Oct 12 2011 | Record China Corn Crop Expected in 2011: Production Estimates Increased for 2009/2010
The USDA estimates China’s 2011/12 corn production at a record 182 million tons, up 4 million or 2 percent from last month and up 3 percent from last year’s revised estimate of 177.2 million tons. Corn area for 2011/12 is estimated at 33 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 0.5 million from last year. Area has been increasing steadily for many years in response to higher relative profits for corn and favorable government policies. The 2011/12 estimated yield of 5.52 tons per hectare is up 1 percent from last year and corresponds to the 10-year trend. Weather data, observations from crop tours in August and September, and information from Chinese government officials and trade sources indicate that overall growing conditions for corn were better than last year and production is expected to reach a new record.After a thorough review of weather conditions, statistical trends, and crop yield models, USDA also raised China’s corn production estimates for 2009/10 and 2010/11 to 164.0 and 177.2 million tons, respectively. These revisions, together with the change for 2011/12, result in a total production increase of 14.2 million tons. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Jun 13 2011 | China Corn: Major Area and Production Revisions for 2010/11 and 2011/12
The USDA raised China’s 2011/12 corn production forecast to a record 178.0 million tons, up 6.0 million or 3.5 percent from last month and up 5.0 million or 3 percent from last year’s revised estimate of 173.0 million tons. The changes are based on revisions to China’s estimated corn area for both years. Data from the Chinese government indicates that corn area increased by more than 4 percent in 2010/11 as farmers reportedly expanded corn acreage in response to higher relative profits for corn and government policies that encouraged grain production. Corn area also increased in 2011/12 according to planting surveys and local government reports, although by a smaller rate than last year. No changes were made to the USDA yield estimates for 2010/11 or 2011/12 this month. The current estimated yield of 5.39 tons per hectare is up 1 percent from last year’s near-normal yield and above the 5-year average. The four provinces in Northeast China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia) account for about 34 percent of China’s total corn area and 40 percent of production. Planting in the Northeast started in April and was complete by the end of May. Temperatures and rainfall were suitable for planting and emergence, and the crop is reportedly growing well. Planting is now underway for the summer corn crop on the North China Plain (about 35 percent of total area) which is sown after the winter wheat harvest. Conditions in early June were generally warm and dry, which accelerated the wheat harvest and summer planting progress. Soil moisture is low and irrigation supplies are limited or unavailable following dry weather in spring 2011. There may be problems with germination and emergence if the normal summer rains are delayed. About 25 percent of China’s corn is grown in southern and western China. Conditions in these regions were close to normal this spring, and there have been no reports of significant crop losses from drought or floods. Corn is a minor crop in the Yangtze River basin, so the ongoing drought there has had limited impact on national production prospects. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133)

Jun 13 2011 | China Rice: Drought Hinders Early and Single Rice Transplanting
China’s 2011/12 rice production is forecast at 138.0 million tons (milled basis), down 2.0 million or 1 percent from last month but up 1.0 million or 2 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 29.9 million hectares, down 0.1 million from last month but up slightly from last year. The forecast yield of 6.59 tons per hectares is down 1 percent from last month but above the 5-year average.Early rice transplanting normally occurs from mid-April to mid-May in southern China. Unusually dry weather since the beginning of 2010 caused rivers and reservoirs in the Yangtze River basin and parts of southern China to drop to their lowest levels in decades. The shortage of water for irrigation made early rice transplanting impossible in some areas, forcing farmers to abandon their farmland or plant other, less water-intensive crops. The water shortfall was especially severe in Jiangxi, Hubei and Hunan provinces, which account for about 50 percent of China’s early rice production. The crop is now in the vegetative to heading stage and will be harvested in July. The drought also hindered the sowing and transplanting of single crop rice in the Yangtze basin. The appearance of moderate to heavy showers since June 1 has eased the drought and allowed transplanting to proceed, although sustained above-normal rainfall will be needed this summer to replenish the rivers and reservoirs and ensure adequate water for normal crop development. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 11 2011 | Strong Prices Lead to Rise in Total Foreign Corn Prospects
Total foreign corn production for the 2011/12 marketing year is forecast at a record 525 million tons, up 5 percent from 2010/11. Area is also forecast at a record 131.7 million hectares, up 3 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at a near-trend 3.98 tons per hectare at the beginning of the season in the Northern Hemisphere.Strong world prices have encouraged planting in many countries. US#3 corn FOB Gulf averaged US$255 per ton from November-to-January when many farmers were making their planting decisions. November-to-January prices are up from US$180 last year and US$137 for the 9-year average. A drop in total coarse grain and wheat production in 2010/11 caused by weather problems which led to lower-than-trend yields has resulted in a tightness in stock levels contributing to the high prices. The price rise is partly attributed to strong demand in Asia for corn to feed livestock, but also strong demand in the United States as a feed stock for producing ethanol to blend with gasoline. (For additional information, contact Paul Provance at 202-720-0873.)

May 11 2011 | China Corn Crop Forecast Higher in 2011
The USDA forecasts China’s 2011/12 corn crop at a record 172.0 million tons, up 2 percent from last year due to higher forecast area and yield. Area is forecast at a record 31.9 million hectares, up 0.4 million or 1 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 5.39 tons per hectare is up 1 percent from last year and corresponds to the long-term upward trend. China’s corn area and production have increased every year since 2006/07 in response to strong demand and favorable prices. As China’s population and income continue to rise, the demand for corn for feed and industrial production (starch, sugars, ethanol, etc) has steadily grown. Planting surveys by the Chinese government and industry groups indicate that corn area in Northeast China, where corn is the dominant crop, is expected to increase moderately in 2011. For several years, farmers in the Northeast have been shifting from soybeans and minor grains to corn, which offers higher profits. The weather has been generally favorable in Northeast China for planting, which started in April and should be nearly complete. The early corn crop in southern China was planted in March and April under drier than normal conditions, but recent rainfall has improved soil moisture levels. The summer corn crop on the North China Plain (NCP) will be planted in June following the winter wheat harvest. Planted area on the NCP is expected to be similar to last year. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 11 2011 | China’s Cotton Crop Forecast to Increase in 2011
China’s cotton production for 2011/12 is forecast at 33.0 million bales (7.185 million tons), up 2.5 million or 8 percent from last year due to higher forecast area and yield. Area is forecast at 5.50 million hectares, up 350,000 hectares or 7 percent from last year and the first area increase since 2007/08. Between 2007/08 and 2010/11, China’s cotton area dropped by more than 1 million hectares (17 percent). The forecast yield of 1306 kilograms per hectare is up 1 percent from last year and nearly equal to the 5-year average. Planting surveys conducted by the Chinese government and the cotton industry indicate that planted area for 2011 is expected to increase by 5 to 10 percent in response to record high prices farmers received for the 2010 crop. The Chinese government announced details of its 2011 purchasing and reserves program at the start of the planting season (earlier than normal) to offer price stability to cotton farmers and support the cotton industry. The China Cotton Association reported that as of April 15, an estimated 24.5 percent of China’s forecast cotton area had been planted, up 6 percentage points from last year’s weather-delayed planting season but down 10 percent from the average pace.The temperature and rainfall conditions have been generally favorable for spring planting in Xinjiang, China’s most important cotton growing province, and cotton planting is reportedly progressing normally. The weather was drier than normal (about 50 percent of normal precipitation) in most cotton areas of eastern China from January through April, particularly in the Yangtze River basin. The drought caused planting delays in many areas and forced farmers to revise their planting decisions in the face of water shortages. During the first 10 days of May, widespread light to moderate rainfall significantly eased the drought in the Yangtze River valley and North China Plain and improved growing conditions for the newly planted crop. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Mar 10 2011 | China Soybean Revisions for 2009/10 and 2010/11
China's 2010/11 soybean production is estimated at 15.2 million tons, up 0.8 million or 6 percent from last month and 0.2 million or 1.5 percent from last year's revised estimate. Area is estimated at 8.8 million hectares, up 5 percent from last month but down 4 percent from last year. Farmers planted less soybean acreage in 2010 because profits were higher for alternative crops such as rice and corn. The estimated yield of 1.73 tons per hectare is up 6 percent from the drought-impacted crop of 2009/10 and above the 5-year average. The weather in 2010 was generally favorable for soybean growth in Northeast China, where more than 50 percent of the crop is produced. The area and production estimates for 2009/10 were revised upward to 9.2 million hectares and 15.0 million tons based on official government statistics. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Dec 10 2010 | China Expected To Produce a Near-Record Rice Crop
China's 2010/11 rice production is estimated at 139.3 million tons (199.0 million, rough basis), up 3.3 million or 2.4 percent from last month and up 2 percent from last year. This is the largest crop since 1997/98, when production reached a record 140.5 million tons. Area is estimated at 29.8 million hectares, up 0.1 million from last month and 0.2 million from last year. Rice area has increased by more than 3.3 million hectares in the past seven years but remains much lower than its historical average of 31.5 million hectares in the 1990's. China's 2010/11 rice yield is expected to reach a record 6.67 tons per hectare, up 1 percent from last year. The latest information from the National Bureau of Statistics confirmed that the output of early rice dropped by 1.4 million tons in 2010 due to poor weather during the spring and early summer. However, this loss was more than offset by higher estimated output of late rice and single crop rice. Increased area and very good growing conditions were reported in Northeast China, particularly in Heilongjiang province, which accounts for about 10 percent of China's single rice crop. Mostly dry and mild weather during October and November favored the maturation and harvest of the late rice crop in southern China. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 10 2010 | China Cotton: Area and Production Estimates Continue to Decline
China's cotton production for 2010/11 is estimated at 30.0 million bales (6.53 million tons), down 1.5 million or 5 percent from last month and down 2.0 million or 6 percent from last year due to lower estimated area and yield. Cotton area is estimated at 5.1 million hectares, down nearly 4 percent from last year. Farmers made significant area reductions on the North China Plain in response to high production costs, unpredictable yields, and lower profits compared to grain crops. Meanwhile, planted area reportedly increased marginally in the Yangtze River basin due to rising cotton prices at the start of the season. There are various estimates for 2010/11 planted area in Xinjiang, which accounts for more than 25 percent of China's cotton area and about 44 percent of total production. Most sources expected area to be close to last year's level. The estimated yield of 1281 kilograms per hectare is down 2 percent from last month and nearly 3 percent from last year. In many parts of eastern China, unusually heavy rain and cloudiness in August and September caused yield and quality losses, slowed cotton maturation, and delayed the start of the harvest by one to two weeks. Serious problems were noted in Henan, Shandong, and Jiangxi provinces, among others. CNCOTTON reported that as of October 22, the cotton harvest was only 54.2 percent complete, down 14.5 percent from last year and almost 17 percent below the 3-yr average. Cotton harvest has now ended in the northern plains, is nearly complete in central China, and will conclude this month in Xinjiang. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 10 2010 | China Corn: Higher Estimated Area Boosts Production in 2009 and 2010
China's 2010/11 corn production is estimated at a record 168.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 1 percent from the previous estimate and up 6 percent from last year's revised crop of 158.0 million. Area is estimated at a record 31.5 million hectares, up 0.3 million or 1 percent from last year's revised area of 31.2 million hectares. The 2009/10 area revision was based on official data from the National Bureau of Statistics. Farmers reportedly shifted from soybeans to corn in 2009 and 2010 in response to higher relative profits for corn and government policies that favored grain production. The estimated yield of 5.33 tons per hectare is up 5 percent from last year's drought-impacted crop and above the 5-year average.In September, USDA personnel participated in a corn crop tour of Northeast China, an area that suffered from serious drought in 2009. The tour confirmed that the 2010 corn crop was in better condition than last year and yields were expected to increase significantly. Despite abnormally cool and wet spring planting weather and summer flooding in Liaoning and Jilin provinces, favorable summer temperatures boosted yield prospects and fine late-season weather allowed for rapid maturation and harvest. Growing conditions on the North China Plain were generally good, and heavy summer rainfall likely had little impact on corn yields in central and southern China. As a result, national production was expected to increase by about 10 million tons from last year. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 8 2010 | China Cotton Production Drops Slightly in 2010/11
China's 2010/11 cotton production is estimated at 31.5 million bales, down 1.0 million or 3 percent from last month and down nearly 2 percent from last year due to lower estimated area and yield. Cotton area for 2010/11 is estimated at 5.25 million hectares, down 3 percent from last month and equal to last year. According to the latest statistics from Chinese government and industry sources, lower planted area in the Yellow River basin was offset by higher planted area in the Yangtze River region. Cotton area in northwest China, including the largest cotton province of Xinjiang, was expected to be similar to last year. The estimated yield of 1306 kilograms per hectare is down 2 percent from last year and below the 3-year average.Unusually heavy rainfall in August and early September hindered cotton maturation and slowed the harvest in many parts of eastern China, where cotton development was already behind schedule due to spring planting delays. The impact of the heavy rain is expected to be reflected in both yield and overall quality of the crop. Harvesting started in mid-September and will reach its peak by the end of October. China accounts for nearly 28 percent of world cotton production and is the destination for about one-third of global cotton exports. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Sep 13 2010 | China Cotton Crop Revised Downward
China's 2010/11 cotton crop is estimated at 32.5 million bales, down 0.5 million or 1.5 percent from last month but up 1.6 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.4 million hectares is unchanged from last month but up about 3 percent from last year. Farmers expanded cotton area planted in 2010 in response to rising cotton prices and increased demand for fabric and textiles. The estimated yield of 1,310 kilograms per hectare is down 2 percent from last month and down slightly from last year. Rainfall in August and early September was unusually heavy in several key cotton growing provinces, particularly Shandong and Henan. The excess rain likely had a negative impact on cotton yield and quality. Harvesting started in southern China in late August and will get underway in September on the North China Plain and Northwest China areas. The start of the harvest will be delayed by several days in parts of the North China Plain because cool spring weather caused significant planting and development delays early in the season. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jul 12 2010 | China: Bumper Wheat Crop Expected
China's 2010/11 wheat production is estimated at 114.5 million tons, up 2.5 million or 2 percent from last month but down slightly from last year's revised estimate of 115.0 million tons. Area is estimated at 24.3 million hectares, up 0.3 million from last month and up 0.1 million from last year's revised area. The estimated yield of 4.71 tons per hectare is down 1 percent from last year but 2 percent above the 5-year average.The 2010/11 winter wheat crop (planted in October 2009) was hit by unusual weather during most of the growing season. A severe winter drought in southwest China contributed to significant yield losses in the region, particularly in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, while unseasonably cold weather in November on the North China Plain and in northern Xinjiang sent the newly-emerged crop into premature dormancy and weakened its resistance to freeze damage. Below-normal temperatures and heavy snowfall in the spring delayed the resumption of winter wheat growth by several weeks and hindered the planting of spring wheat in northeast and northwest China.Yield prospects began to improve during May with the return of more seasonable weather. Warm and mostly dry conditions in June were nearly ideal for winter wheat maturation and harvest in the major wheat-growing provinces of central and northern China, and Chinese officials have reported better than expected yields despite the earlier weather problems. The launch of the winter-wheat harvest campaign on the North China Plain was delayed by 5 to 10 days due to the late development of the crop, but the warm and sunny weather in June allowed it to progress rapidly and conclude by the end of the month. The spring wheat crop (about 6 percent of total wheat output) is now in the filling stage and will be harvested in July/August. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Jun 10 2010 | China Soybean Area and Production Expected to Decline in 2010/11
China's 2010/11 soybean production is forecast at 14.6 million tons, down 0.6 million or 4 percent from last month and down about 1 percent from last year's revised production of 14.7 MMT. Soybean area is estimated at 8.6 million hectares, down 0.4 million from last month and down 0.2 million from last year. The forecast yield of 1.70 tons per hectare is nearly the same as last month and slightly higher than last year's yield. Soybeans in Northeast China (the main production area) are normally planted from mid-April to mid-May. This year, planting was delayed by one to three weeks due to unusually cool and wet spring weather, particularly in the provinces of Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia. The planting delays could have an impact on soybean yields by shortening the growing season and exposing the crop to additional weather risks. Heilongjiang province accounts for more than 40 percent of national soybean output. The Heilongjiang Agricultural Bureau (HAB) estimated Heilongjiang's 2010/11 soybean planted area at 4.33 million hectares, down 373,000 hectares or 8 percent from last year. The reduction was attributed to low soybean prices and higher comparative profits for rice and corn, which encouraged farmers to expand grain area. Heilongjiang soybean production continues to be difficult to estimate. The Heilongjiang Provincial Grain Bureau reported that as of May 10, farmers had marketed 7.1 million tons of 2009/10 new crop soybeans. The Heilongjiang Provincial Statistics Bureau however reported that total soybean production in 2009/10 was only 5.9 million tons. Area statistics are also contested, with estimates for 2009/10 planted area ranging from 3.9 to 4.7 million hectares. China's demand for vegetable oil and protein meal has been rising for many years, keeping pace with population growth and higher incomes. Soybean production has not been able to keep up with the rising demand for soybean products, and massive imports (estimated at 49.0 million tons in 2010/11) will be needed. The large imports have depressed domestic soybean prices, which in turn have led to lower planted area and production, thus increasing the need for additional imports. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

May 11 2010 | China Cotton Production Forecast Slightly Higher in 2010/11
China's cotton production for 2010/11 is estimated at 33.0 million bales (7.185 million tons), up 0.5 million or 1.5 percent from last year due to slightly higher estimated area and yield. Cotton area is estimated at 5.40 million hectares, up nearly 2 percent from last year but below the 5-year average. Significant area reductions are expected on the North China Plain due to high production costs, unpredictable yields, and lower profits compared to grains. Meanwhile, planted area is expected to increase in the Yangtze River basin and Xinjiang in response to strong demand and rising cotton prices. The forecast yield of 1,330 kilograms per hectare is marginally down from last year and close to the 10-year trend.According to the China Cotton Association, overall cotton planting was 82 percent complete by the end of April, down 17 percent from the same time in 2009. Planting progress has been very slow this season due to persistently cool and wet weather across most of the country during April. Planting was slower than normal in nearly every province, with delays of 10 to 20 days reported in northern Xinjiang province and parts of the North China Plain (Hebei, Shandong, Tianjin, and Henan provinces). The unseasonable weather also had a detrimental impact on seedling growth and development, particularly in the Huai River basin. In contrast, severe sandstorms in April damaged thousands of hectares of newly planted cotton in southern Xinjiang and Gansu. Conditions for planting and emergence have improved now with the arrival of warmer and sunnier weather, but planting progress is still behind schedule. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 11 2010 | China Corn Production Forecast Higher in 2010
China's 2010/11 corn production is forecast at a record 166.0 million tons, up 11.0 million or 7 percent from last year and up 0.1 million from the previous record set in 2008/09. The estimated area of 30.8 million hectares is up 1 percent from last year. Corn area in China has been rising steadily over the past decade and has increased by more than 33 percent since 2000/01. Farmers are expected to increase corn area in 2010/11 in response to lower output in 2009/10 and rising prices. The forecast yield of 5.39 tons per hectare is up 6 percent from last year's droughtimpacted crop but below the 5-year average.The planting season for spring-sown corn starts in March in southwest China and concludes in early May in northeast China. A severe spring drought in the southwest has now eased, improving the conditions for corn emergence and growth. The weather in central and eastern China has been cooler and wetter than normal this spring, which delayed the development of winter wheat and the planting of spring crops. In the Northeast, the start of the planting season was delayed by one to two weeks due to unusually low temperatures and late-season snowfall. If planting progress remains behind schedule, there is a possibility that the shortened growing season could make the corn crop more vulnerable to heat stress at pollination and frost damage in the fall, resulting in lower yields. The summer corn crop on the North China Plain, which accounts for more than 40 percent of total production, will be planted in June following the winter wheat harvest. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Mar 11 2010 | China Barley: Lower Area Due to Competition from Wheat and Rapeseed
China's 2009/10 barley crop is estimated at 2.5 million tons, down 0.6 million or 19 percent from last month and down 11 percent from last year. The estimated area of 715,000 hectares is down 10 percent from last year due to competition from winter wheat and rapeseed, especially in Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Xinjiang provinces. Government price support and other incentives for wheat and rapeseed production in 2009/10 encouraged farmers to increase planted area for these crops at the expense of barley, which receives no government support. The estimated yield of 3.5 tons per hectare is down 2 percent from last year and below the 5-year average, due mainly to dry conditions in Inner Mongolia and Gansu. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Mar 11 2010 | China Peanut: Area and Production Lower than Last Year
China's 2009/10 peanut output is estimated at 13.3 million tons, up 0.6 million or 5 percent from last month but down 7 percent from last year. The estimated area of 4.0 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down 6 percent from last year. Farmers in major peanutproduction provinces in northern China, including Henan, Shandong, Liaoning and Anhui, responded to relatively low prices for peanut products at the beginning of 2009 by reducing planted area and shifting to more-profitable grains or cash crops. The estimated yield of 3.33 tons per hectare is slightly lower than last year but above the 5-year average. The drought in northeast China and excessive rainfall in parts of central China during the 2009/10 growing season had only a minor impact on peanut yields. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Mar 11 2010 | China Cotton: Lower Area and Production Expected in 2009/10
China's 2009/10 cotton production is estimated at 31.5 million bales (6.86 million tons), down 0.5 million or 1.6 percent from last month and down 5.2 million or 14 percent from last year's near-record crop. Cotton area for 2009/10 is estimated at 5.15 million hectares, down 2 percent from last month and 14 percent from last year. The revisions are based on the latest cotton area estimates from Chinese government sources. Farmers reduced sown area in 2009 in response to high production costs, serious labor shortages, disappointing cotton prices, higher government subsidies for grain, and the weak global demand for textiles at the end of 2008. The estimated yield of 1332 kilograms per hectare is similar to the record set in 2008/09 but above the 5-year average. As of the end of February, seven of the top cotton-producing provinces (accounting for almost 90 percent of total output) have released preliminary area and production estimates for 2009/10. Each province reported a year-to-year reduction in cotton output, ranging from minus 3.4 percent in Anhui to minus 21.5 percent in Jiangsu. The main reason for the drop in production was lower planted area; however, lower yields were also reported in several key provinces. The latest estimate by the National Bureau of Statistics (released on February 25) put the 2009/10 crop at 4.95 million hectares and 29.4 million bales (6.4 million tons). These figures are significantly lower than earlier estimates by Chinese government agencies and trade sources. Domestic consumption of cotton is currently estimated at 47.5 million bales and is expected to grow steadily in 2010 along with China's rising population and GDP growth of 8 to 9 percent. The smaller crop in 2009 and the rising demand for cotton will widen the supply gap. Cotton imports in the first six months of MY 2009/10 have been very strong, reflecting the tightening supply situation. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene, 202-690-0133).

Dec 10 2009 | Record Yields Boost China's 2009/10 Rice Production
China's rice production for 2009/10 is estimated at 137.0 million tons (195.7 million, rough basis), up 1.0 million or 1 percent from last month and up 2 percent from last year's bumper crop. The estimated area of 29.68 million hectares is up 0.44 million from last year's revised estimate of 29.24 million, and is the highest planted area since 2000/01. Planted area increased this year in response to higher government support prices and subsidies for improved seeds and inputs. The rice yield for 2009/10 is estimated at a record 6.59 tons per hectare, up slightly from last year. Rice yields benefitted from generally favorable weather this season in most crop areas. Damage from typhoons and flooding was relatively minor this year in central and southern rice growing regions, and a serious summer drought had little impact on the single rice yields in the Northeast due to effective irrigation. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133, paulette.sandene@fas.usda.gov.)

Nov 10 2009 | China Cotton Area and Production Revised Downward
China's 2009/10 cotton production is estimated at 31.5 million bales (6.86 million tons), down 1.0 million or 3 percent from last month and down 5.2 million or 14 percent from last year. Area for 2009/10 is estimated at 5.2 million hectares, down 5 percent from last month and down 13 percent from last year. The revision is based on the latest cotton area estimates from Chinese government sources. Farmers reduced sown area in 2009 in response to high production costs, serious labor shortages, disappointing cotton prices, higher government subsidies for grain, and the weak global demand for textiles at the end of 2008. The estimated yield of 1319 kilograms per hectare is below the record set in 2008/09 but above the 5-year average. According to the China Cotton Association (CCA), the harvest was about 66 percent complete as of October 15. In Xinjiang, an estimated 86 percent of the crop was harvested as of November 4. Harvest progress in eastern China was slower than normal this year due to wet late-summer weather that also had a negative impact on cotton quality. The weather in October was favorably warm and dry in most cotton areas, but a strong cold front spread across eastern China at the end of the month, effectively ending the autumn growing season. The CCA said freezing temperatures and associated precipitation were unfavorable for the harvesting, drying and processing of cotton, but the impact on yield was not expected to be significant. During 2009, China's demand for cotton has been increasing, and the situation for the textile industry has improved. Yarn output since January is up 10.4 percent, and garment and textile exports are increasing. Procurement prices are up about 4 percent from last year. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at (202) 690-0133 or paulette.sandene@fas.usda.gov).

Oct 13 2009 | China Corn: Drought Reduces Yield Prospects in Northeast
China's 2009/10 corn production is estimated at 155.0 million tons, down 5.0 million or 3 percent from last month and down 10.9 million from last year's record crop. Area is estimated at 30.0 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last year's revised area of 29.8 million hectares. Farmers reportedly shifted from soybeans to corn in 2009 in response to higher relative profits for corn and government policies that favored grain production. The estimated yield of 5.17 tons per hectare is down 7 percent from last year's record yield due to serious drought in parts of northeast and central China, as well as stormy conditions in parts of the North China Plain and southern China.According to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), local officials, and crop analysts, a mid-summer drought in Northeast China during the critical reproduction stage caused corn yields to drop this year. Significant yield losses were reported in the many areas, with some locations experiencing total crop failure. Showers in late August and September partially eased the drought but came too late to boost yields. USDA personnel toured Northeast China in late September with the U.S. Grains Council and observed drought-damage (including stunted ears and poor pollination) across the region, particularly in western Jilin, western Liaoning, and eastern Inner Mongolia. Tour participants also noted locally serious lodging and delayed maturity (one to two weeks) but saw little disease or insect damage. Harvesting has started and will continue through October. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 13 2009 | China Soybeans: Estimated Area and Production Decreased
China's 2009/10 soybean production is estimated at 14.5 million tons, down 0.5 million or 3 percent from last month and down 1.0 million or 6 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 8.8 million hectares, down 0.3 million from last month and down 0.3 million from last year's revised estimate of 9.1 million hectares. The revisions are based on updated statistics from Chinese government sources. Farmers reduced soybean area in 2009/10 in response to poor profits and stronger government support for competing crops. The estimated yield of 1.65 tons per hectare is unchanged this month but lower than last year and below the 5-year average.Heilongjiang normally accounts for about 40 percent of China's total soybean output. Soil moisture was suitable for planting, but unseasonably hot and dry weather in May created drought conditions over more than 45 percent of Heilongjiang's sown area. Emergence was poor in many areas and some farmers were forced to replant. The spring drought was followed by wet and relatively cool weather in June and July, which slowed crop development. Elsewhere in Northeast China (which accounts for 16 to 18 percent of total output), drought conditions from mid-July through mid-August had a negative impact on soybeans in the flowering/pod-formation stages, further lowering prospects. Harvesting has started and will continue through October. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 13 2009 | China Cotton Production Drops
China's 2009/10 cotton production is estimated at 32.5 million bales (7.08 million tons), down 1.0 million from last month and down 11 percent from last year's 36.7 million bales (8.0 million tons). Area for 2009/10 is estimated at 5.45 million hectares, up slightly from last month but down 9.2 percent from last year. Estimated production for 2008/09 was revised from 35.8 to 36.7 million bales and area from 5.95 to 6.00 million hectares, based on updated statistics from Chinese government sources. Farmers cut cotton area in 2009 because of high production costs, serious labor shortages, disappointing cotton prices, higher government subsidies for grain, and the weak global demand for textiles at the end of 2008. The estimated yield of 1298 kilograms per hectare is below the record set in 2008/09 but above the 5-year average.The weather was generally favorable in the spring and early summer for cotton planting, and cotton seedlings were reportedly growing well early in the season. Conditions became less favorable later in the summer as abundant to excessive rainfall, particularly in Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, caused localized flooding and crop losses. The heavy rainfall and cloudy conditions slowed cotton growth and affected both the yield and quality of cotton bolls across much of eastern China. Meanwhile, drought conditions stressed non-irrigated cotton in parts of central China. Xinjiang province in Northwest China accounts for 35 to 40 percent of China's cotton output. Planted area was expected to be lower than last year's record area. The weather has been near normal this year and average yields are expected. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Sep 11 2009 | China: Drought in Northeastern Provinces Reduces Corn Yield and Production
The USDA estimates 2009/10 China corn production at 160.0 million tons, down 2.5 million or1.5 percent from last month and down 3.5 percent from last year's record crop. Area is estimatedat 29.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 0.1 million from last year. Theestimated yield of 5.42 tons per hectare is down 4 percent from last year but above the 5-yearaverage. Farmers reportedly shifted land from soybeans to corn in 2009 in response to higherrelative profits for corn and government policies that favored grain production. Estimated cornyield was reduced this month due to drought in parts of northeast and central China in August, aswell as stormy conditions in parts of the North China Plain and southern China. According to theMinistry of Agriculture, an estimated 4.8 million hectares of crops in the provinces ofHeilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, and Shanxi were affected by drought as of August30. These provinces account for about 40 percent of China's total corn output. Local officialsand crop analysts reported that the drought, which extended for more than a month, occurredwhile corn and soybeans were in the critical reproduction stage and had a negative impact onyields. Yield losses of 10 to 40 percent (year-to-year) were widely reported in the affectedregion, with some hard-hit areas experiencing total crop failure. Scattered showers over the lasttwo weeks have partially eased the drought but arrived too late to boost yields. Also, someofficials are concerned that below-normal temperatures in September may lead to the prematureend of the growing season, thus lowering yields further. The crop is now in the filling/maturing'stage and harvesting will begin in mid-September. Drought conditions were also reported in partsof central China during August, but corn is an insignificant crop in the region. Locally heavyrainfall, hail and strong winds caused lodging and minor flood losses in parts of the North ChinaPlain and the lower Yangtze River valley this summer, but the Ministry of Agriculture reportedthat corn was growing well in these areas despite the weather difficulties. Good corn crops werealso expected in the northwest and southwest regions of China this year. (For more information,contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Aug 19 2009 | China: Cotton Crop Estimated Higher
China's 2009/10 cotton crop is forecast at 33.5 million bales (7.29 million tons), up 0.5 million or 1.5 percent from last month, but down 6 percent from last year. Cotton area is estimated at 5.4 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 9 percent from a year ago. Cotton area declined in all areas of the country during the 2009/10 season in response to low cotton prices in 2008, high production costs, and better profits for alternative crops. The largest reduction in sown cotton area reportedly occurred in the Yangtze River basin. Forecast cotton yields are estimated 3 percent higher than last year at 1350 kilograms per hectare. The weather has been generally favorable for crop development this summer, with abundant rainfall and seasonable temperatures boosting yield prospects on the North China Plain and northern Xinjiang. In contrast, drought conditions in southern Xinjiang, Shanxi, Gansu, and Ningxia, as well as excessive wetness in parts of the Yangtze River basin could result in yield losses unless more favorable weather returns in August. The cotton crop is currently in the flowering/boll formation stage and will enter the open-boll stage later in August. Harvesting takes place from September through November. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 19 2009 | China: Wheat Production Increased on Record Xinjiang Harvest
China's 2009/10 wheat crop is estimated at 114.5 million tons, up 1.0 million or 1 percent from last month and up nearly 2 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 24.3 million hectares, up 0.1 million from last month and up 0.3 million or 1 percent from last year. The area revision is based on data provided by Chinese government sources. The estimated yield of 4.71 tons per hectare is up slightly from both last month and last year. The 2009/10 winter wheat crop was harvested by the end of June, and the spring wheat crop (less than 7 percent of total production) will be harvested in August/September. Unusually dry weather in early spring caused yield losses in parts the North China Plain, and excessive wetness in May and June caused harvest delays, lodging, and sprouting in the Yangtze River basin. These losses, however, were more than offset by an exceptionally large crop in Xinjiang province, where production increased by an estimated 45 percent (2.0 million tons) to a record 6.45 million tons. Larger wheat crops were also reported in Inner Mongolia, Shandong, and Yunnan provinces this year. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jul 10 2009 | China Rice Bumper Crop Forecast for 2009/10
China is likely to produce a bumper rice crop this season, the sixth straight increase in production. Farmers were encouraged to increase rice area for 2009/10 by generous government input subsidies and higher procurement prices, and the yield trend over the last six years is rising. China's milled rice production for 2009/10 is forecast at 135.1 million tons (193.0 million tons, rough basis), up 0.7 million or less than 1 percent from both last month and from last year's revised production estimate. Area is estimated at 29.8 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last month and 0.4 million from last year's revised area. The area and production revisions for 2008/09 are based on official Chinese government statistics. China's 2009/10 rice yield is estimated at 6.48 tons per hectare (rough basis), down slightly from last year's record yield but well above the 5-year average. The 2009/10 early rice crop is now in the filling/maturing stage and harvest will begin in about two weeks. Early rice area increased by an estimated 150,000 hectares in 2009 and yields are expected to be higher than last year due to mostly favorable weather throughout the growing season. Planted area also increased for the middle rice crop, which was sown in May/June and is now in the vegetative stage. The weather for the middle rice crop has been unfavorably wet and cool in parts of Northeast China since early June, but growing conditions in the Yangtze basin and Sichuan have been generally good. The late rice crop will be planted in late July following the early rice harvest. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene@202-690-0133).

Jul 10 2009 | China Cotton Lower Area but Higher Yield Forecast for 2009/10
China's 2009/10 cotton production is forecast at 33.0 million bales (7.19 million tons), unchanged from last month but down 2.8 million or 8 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 5.4 million hectares, down 0.55 million or 9 percent from last year. Farmers were discouraged from planting cotton in 2009 because of high production costs, labor shortages, declining cotton prices, and the weak global demand for textiles at the end of 2008. Initial planting intention surveys suggested that 2009/10 area would drop by more than 20 percent in 2009, but subsequent government and industry surveys indicated that area had dropped by only 11 to 12 percent. Farmers were encouraged to maintain cotton acreage for several reasons, including stable cotton prices, generous government subsidies for improved seed and inputs, rising demand for cotton textiles, and generally favorable planting weather. The cotton crop is currently in the vegetative to flowering stage and will enter the open boll stage in August. Harvesting will take place fromSeptember through November. There have been reports of isolated insect outbreaks as well as localized storm and hail damage this summer. However, government and industry sources report that the overall 2009/10 crop is growing well and yields are expected to match or exceed last year's level. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene 202-690-0133).

Jun 10 2009 | China 2009/10 Soybeans: Farmers Worried About Dry Weather
China's 2009/10 soybean production is estimated at 15.6 million tons, unchanged from last month but down 0.4 million or 2.5 percent from last year. Soybean area is estimated at 9.1 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 0.4 million from last year. Area dropped in 2009/10 in response to poor profits and stronger government support for other crops. The estimated yield of 1.71 tons per hectare is slightly higher than last year and equal to the 5-year average. Heilongjiang province accounts for about 40 percent of China's total soybean output. Soil moisture was suitable for soybean planting (which began in April), but unseasonably hot and dry in May creating drought conditions over more than 45 percent of Heilongjiang's sown area. According to local reports, emergence was poor in many areas and farmers in the worst-hit areas were forced to replant. Light showers in recent days helped ease the drought in central Heilongjiang but more rain would be helpful. USDA personnel are currently conducting a crop assessment tour in Heilongjiang and other provinces in Northeast China. In eastern China, the weather was generally favorable for planting and emergence. Excessive rainfall was reported in parts of central and southern China during May and early June, but the impact on soybeans was likely insignificant. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 19 2009 | World 2009/10 Crop Area and Production Forecasts
The initial USDA country-level area and production estimates for 2009/10 grains, oilseeds, andcotton are provided this month. In previous years, only the initial grain estimates were releasedin May, but this year estimates for oilseeds and cotton are provided as well.World wheat area for 2009/10 is estimated at 224 million hectares, down less than 1 percentfrom last year. International prices in September 2008, when many Northern Hemisphere wheatproducers were deciding if they would plant, had declined from a year earlier while prices forcorn and soybeans were stronger. Wheat production is forecast at 658 million metric tons, down25 million tons from 2008/09, when excellent growing conditions occurred in many of the majorproducers.World corn area is forecast at 156 million hectares for 2009/10, unchanged from the previousyear. Reports of farmers foregoing corn planting because of high input costs have been receivedfrom many countries. Corn area is not increasing even though corn prices were high relative towheat, and to a lesser extent soybean, during December to February when many farmers weremaking their corn planting decisions. Corn production is forecast virtually unchanged at 788million tons as corn planting in the Northern Hemisphere is underway.World soybean area is forecast at 99 million hectares up 2 million. Production is forecast at 242million tons, up 29 million from 2008/09. Much of the increase results from an expectation ofrecovery in Argentina and Brazil which suffered from extreme drought in major producing areas.World international soybean/corn price ratios from October through December favored corn, buthigher production costs have favored soybeans, which require fewer inputs. (For moreinformation, contact Paul Provance 202-720-0873.)

May 19 2009 | China Wheat Production in 2009/10 Unchanged From Last Year
Wheat production for 2009/10 is forecast at 113.0 million tons, unchanged from last year. Areais estimated at 24.1 million hectares, up 0.1 million from a year ago. Yield is forecast at 4.69tons per hectare, down slightly from last year's record. China's winter wheat crop was planted inSeptember and October 2008 and will be harvested in June 2009. As of April 30, the crop was inthe heading to filling stage in the main wheat-growing provinces. Satellite imagery and yieldsimulationmodels indicate that current crop conditions are good. Dryness prevailed throughouteastern China from November through January but appears to have had no significant impact onwheat yields, due to aggressive drought-relief measures and timely rainfall in mid-February andMarch. Soil moisture levels are above normal in the Yangtze River basin, and droughtconditions have developed in parts of Northwest China (Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces),but growing conditions continue to be generally favorable in the most important wheat growingprovinces on the North China Plain. There have been no reports of significant insect or diseaseoutbreaks this season. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 19 2009 | China Cotton Area and Production Forecast to Drop in 2009/10
China's 2009/10 cotton production is forecast at 33.0 million bales (7.18 million tons), down 2.8million or 8 percent from last year and below the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 5.4million hectares, down 0.55 million from a year ago. Despite the Chinese government's efforts tomaintain stable cotton production, planted area has been impacted by government supportpolicies to increase grain production and food security, and the per-hectare returns from cottonare lower than competing crops. Yield is forecast at a record 1331 kilograms per hectare, up 2percent from last year due to favorable planting weather and the increased proportion of plantedarea in Northwest China, where yields are above the national average.Several planting intention surveys by government and industry sources indicate lower plantedarea for 2009/10. Nationally, the area reductions ranged from 10 to 22 percent in some earlier'surveys, individual provinces were expected to show area reductions of 20 to 30 percent. Themost recent surveys are more optimistic than earlier ones, owing to rising cotton prices,expanded subsidies for high quality seeds, and large government purchases of the 2008/09 crop(2.57 million tons as of mid-March) that helped stabilize the market.Planting for the 2009/10 spring-sown cotton crop began in early April. In Xinjiang, areadropped an estimated 5 to 10 percent as farmers shifted to grains and other crops in response togovernment policies and higher profit margins. Warm temperatures in March and April allowedfor early planting, but recent sandstorms damaged an estimated 100,000 hectares in Xinjiang. Inthe Yangtze River basin, wet and cool spring weather caused significant planting delays. A'shortage of available land (planted to winter wheat rather than left fallow for spring cottonplanting) means more cotton will be sown as a summer crop after the winter wheat harvest inMay. The weather was normal on the North China Plain and planting progressed smoothly.Drought conditions caused planting and emergence problems in Gansu, Shanxi, and Shaanxiprovinces. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Mar 11 2009 | China: Peanut Production Higher in 2008/09
The USDA estimates China's 2008/09 peanut output at 14.0 million tons, up 0.6 million or 4 percent from last month and up 7 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 4.2 million hectares, up 0.2 million or 6 percent from last year but well below the record of 5.1 million hectares set in 2003/04. Yield reached a record 3.33 tons per hectare in 2008/09, up 1 percent from last year, due to generally favorable weather in the most important peanut-growing provinces of Shandong and Henan. The area and production revisions are based on recently published oilseed data from the National Bureau of Statistics, which reported that oilseed output in 2008/09 increased by almost 15 percent to an estimated 29.5 million tons. Peanuts historically account for about 48 percent of China's total oilseed output. China ranks first in world peanut production, supplying around 40 percent of total world output. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Mar 11 2009 | China: Cotton Production in 2008/09 Down from Last Year
The USDA estimates China's 2008/09 cotton production at 35.8 million bales (7.8 million tons), down 0.7 million from last month and down 1.2 million from last year's record crop. Estimated cotton area is unchanged this month at 6.0 million hectares, down 0.2 million from last year. The estimated yield of 1299 kilograms per hectare is equal to last year's record yield and equal to the long-term trend. Although flooding and excessive rainfall caused developmental/harvesting delays and quality problems in parts of eastern China, the lack of major drought or flooding and favorable weather in the Northwest resulted in good yields overall. The production revision this month is based on preliminary provincial harvest results and data from a variety of Chinese and trade sources. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of cotton and accounts for almost one third of world output. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jan 12 2009 | Higher China Rice Area and Record Yield for 2008/09
China's 2008/09 milled rice production is estimated at 135.1 million tons (193.0 million tonspaddy or rough basis), up 4.2 million from last month and up 4.9 million or 4 percent from lastyear. This is the largest crop since 1999/00. Area is estimated at 29.2 million hectares, up 1percent from last year. The estimated yield of 6.61 tons per hectare (rough) is up 3 percent fromlast year's record yield. The revision from last month is based on provincial harvest data andreports from China's Ministry of Agriculture and other Chinese sources that indicate higher grainyield and production. In December, the Ministry of Agriculture stated that China's total grainproduction reached a record 528.5 million tons, up about 27 million tons from last year. Paddyrice historically accounts for 36 to 38 percent of China's total grain outputChina produces three separate rice crops. Early rice and late rice (usually grown as a doublecrop) are grown in central and southern China and together account for about 36 percent of totalrice production, while middle/single crop rice (mainly japonica) is grown in northeast and centralChina and accounts for about 64 percent of total output. The Chinese government estimated the2008/09 early-rice crop at 32.5 million tons, up about 1.0 million from last year, with higheryields offsetting slightly lower area. Middle-crop production was expected to increase in2008/09 due to higher planted area, particularly in Heilongjiang, and generally favorableweather. Although typhoons and heavy rainfall caused localized crop damage in parts of theYangtze River basin, the impact on the rice crop was insignificant. Late-rice planting proceeded'smoothly and initial growing conditions were good. Unusually heavy rain in late October'slowed late rice development and caused quality problems in parts of southern China, but thereturn of dry weather in November aided maturation and harvest. (For more information,contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jan 12 2009 | Record China Corn Yield and Production in 2008/09
China's 2008/09 corn production is estimated at a record 165.5 million tons, up 5.5 million or 3percent from last month and up 9 percent from last year. Corn area is estimated at 29.4 millionhectares, down slightly from last year. The estimated yield of 5.63 tons per hectare is up 9percent from last year and exceeds the previous record of 5.33 tons per hectare set in 2006/07.The revision is based on provincial harvest data and reports from China's Ministry of Agricultureand other Chinese sources, which indicated higher corn yield and production in 2008/09. Duringthe 2008 growing season, China's major corn-producing provinces experienced abundantmoisture, seasonable temperatures, a general absence of drought, and only minor flood damage,resulting in excellent yields overall. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Dec 11 2008 | China: Record Corn Crop Expected in 2008/09
China's 2008/09 corn production is estimated at a record 160.0 million tons, up 4.0 million or 2.6 percent from last month and up 7.7 million from last year as higher estimated yield offset lower planted area. Area is estimated at 29.2 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 0.3 million from last year. Corn area dropped in 2008/09 as farmers shifted to soybeans in response to higher relative profits for soybeans after the poor 2007/08 harvest. The estimated yield of 5.48 tons per hectare is up 6 percent from last year and above the 5-year trend due to favorable weather. Excellent growing conditions were reported in nearly every corn-producing province this season, and there were adequate supplies of fertilizer and high-quality seed. Corn area dropped in Northeast China, but several crop surveys in the region indicated generally favorable weather and higher yields than last year, when the region was hit by a major drought. Large crops are also expected on the North China Plain, which experienced abundant rainfall, seasonable temperatures, few extreme weather events, and only minor flooding in 2008. A joint U.S. Grains Council and FAS Agricultural Affairs Office crop survey reported that insect infestations and excess moisture depressed yields in parts of eastern and central China. The government has announced it will allow exports for the 2008/09 crop given abundant stocks and lower inflation rates. Domestic stock levels have increased during the year due to the reduction in exports, slack feed demand, the increased use of cheaper wheat for feed, and the suspended operation of corn processing plants during the Olympics. The government plans to purchase 10 million tons of corn, mainly from the Northeast, to support the corn market and improve farmers' income. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 10 2008 | China: Revised Area and Production Data for 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2008/09
In October, China's National Bureau of Statistics published the 2008 China Statistical Yearbook,containing official 2007/08 area and production data for grains, several oilseeds, tubers, beans,cotton, and other major commodities. The Statistical Yearbook also incorporated revisions for2006/07 area and production based on the results of the 2007 agricultural census. The 2006/07grain production revisions were minor, but there were significant area revisions for corn (up 2percent), wheat (up 3 percent) and rice (down 1 percent). There were even larger revisions to the2006/07 area and production data for total oilseeds, rapeseed, peanuts, beans, tubers and cotton.The Statistical Yearbook also revised the preliminary government estimates for 2007/08 area andproduction that had been released earlier in the year. There were major area revisions for corn(up 5 percent), wheat (up 3 percent), rice (down 2 percent), peanuts (up 4 percent) and rapeseed(down 1 percent). USDA has adopted these, along with small production revisions for 2007/08.These historical data changes prompted comparable adjustments to USDA's area and productionestimates for 2008/09, as indicated below.Wheat production for 2008/09 is estimated at 113.0 million tons, down 1.0 million or 1 percentfrom last month but up 3 percent from last year's revised crop of 109.3 million tons. Wheatyield is estimated at a record 4.71 million tons.Corn production is unchanged this month at 156.0 million tons but up 2 percent from last year'srevised crop of 152.3 million tons. The estimated area of 29.2 million hectares is up 5 percentfrom last month but down 1 percent from last year, as farmers in the Northeast shifted from cornto soybeans. Corn yield is estimated at a record 5.34 tons per hectare, up 3 percent from lastyear's drought-impacted crop.Rice production for 2008/09 is estimated at 130.9 million tons, up less than 1 percent from lastmonth and last year's revised crop of 130.2 million tons. The estimated area of 29.0 millionhectares is down 2.5 percent from last month but up slightly from last year. The estimated yieldof 6.45 tons per hectare (rough basis) is slightly higher than last year.Rapeseed production for 2008/09 is estimated at 11.5 million tons, up 0.5 million or 4.5 percentfrom last month and up 9 percent from last year's revised estimate of 10.57 million tons. Areafor 2008/09 was increased to 6.4 million hectares, up 0.4 million or 7 percent from last monthand up 13 percent from last year based on data from the Ministry of Agriculture. The estimatedyield of 1.80 tons per hectare was down 4 percent from last year due to unusually severe springweather in central and southern China.Peanut production for 2008/09 is estimated at 13.4 million tons, down 1.5 percent from lastmonth but up 3 percent from last year's crop of 13.0 million tons. The estimated area of 4.0million hectares is up 3 percent from last month and up 1 percent from last year's revised area of3.95 million hectares. Peanut yield is expected to reach 3.35 tons per hectare, up slightly fromlast year's record yield. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 690-0133.)

Oct 10 2008 | China: Cotton Production Estimated Higher for 2008/09
China's 2008/09 cotton production is estimated at 36.5 million bales (7.95 million tons), up 1.0million or 3 percent from last month but down 1 percent from last year's record crop of 37.0million bales. The estimated area of 6.0 million hectares is unchanged this month but down 0.2million or 3 percent from last year. Cotton yield is estimated at a record 1,325 kilograms perhectare, up 2 percent from last year's yield and equal to the long term trend. Although therewere scattered incidents of insect damage, disease, and flood-related losses, the overall growingconditions were close to normal. Harvesting is now underway across China. According to a'survey by the China Cotton Association, an estimated 17.3 percent of the crop had beenharvested as of mid-September, down 1 percent from last year's accelerated pace. Cottondevelopment in 2008 was slower than last year due to lower temperatures and above-normalrainfall in most cotton areas. Harvest progress was down about 2 percent from last year in theYellow River valley (which produces 23 percent of China's cotton) and Yangtze River valley (18percent) but up 3.5 percent in the Northwest (10 percent). (For more information, contactPaulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Sep 12 2008 | China Corn: Record Production in 2008/09 Due to Higher Yield
China's 2008/09 corn production is estimated at a record 156.0 million tons, up 3.0 million or 2percent from last month and up 4.2 million or 3 percent from last year as higher estimated yieldoffset lower planted area. Corn area is estimated at 27.8 million hectares, unchanged from lastmonth but down 0.2 million from last year. Farmers shifted from corn to soybeans in 2008 inresponse to higher relative profits for soybeans after the poor 2007/08 soybean harvest. Theestimated yield of 5.61 tons per hectare is up 3.5 percent from last year and above the previousrecord set in 2006/07. Very good growing conditions were reported in nearly every corn-producing province this'season. Bumper crops are expected on the North China Plain, which experienced beneficialrainfall, seasonable temperatures, few extreme weather events, and only minor flooding/lodgingproblems in 2008. Record yield and production are expected in Northeast China, where droughtconditions cut yields in 2007/08. Officials in Jilin, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia reported thatthe crop benefitted from timely and abundant rainfall this year, while a recent crop survey inHeilongjiang revealed generally favorable growing conditions and higher yields than last yeardespite below-normal rainfall in August. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at(202) 690-0133).

Sep 12 2008 | China Soybeans: Higher Area and Production Expected in 2008/09
China's 2008/09 soybean production is estimated at 16.5 million tons, up 0.5 million or 3 percentfrom last month and up 3.0 million or 22 percent from last year's drought-reduced crop.Soybean area is estimated at 9.4 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 0.7 millionor 8 percent from last year. High returns after the disappointing 2007/08 harvest and governmentpolicies that encouraged oilseed production led to the increase in planted area. The estimatedyield of 1.76 tons per hectare is up 13 percent from last year and above the 5-year average of1.68 tons per hectare. Heilongjiang is China's most important soybean growing province, accounting for 37 to 40percent of China's total soybean output. A recent crop survey in Heilongjiang revealed'significantly higher planted area, very good growing conditions, and higher prospective yieldsthan last year despite a significant rainfall deficit in August in parts of the province. Otherimportant soybean growing provinces in northern and central China experienced generallyfavorable weather throughout the season, and normal yields are expected in these areas. (Formore information, contact Paulette Sandene at (202) 690-0133).

Jul 11 2008 | Higher China Barley Yields Due to Favorable Weather
China's 2008/09 barley production is estimated at 3.5 million tons, up 0.3 million from lastmonth and last year. The winter barley crop, grown primarily in central China, was planted inSep/Oct 2007 and harvested in May/June 2008. Abundant precipitation and seasonabletemperatures in the spring created favorable growing conditions and raised yield prospects forthe 2008/09 crop. The weather has also been mostly favorable in northern China for the springbarley crop, now in the heading to grain fill stage. However, a persistent drought in thenorthwest provinces of Xinjiang and Gansu could result in yield losses. (For more information,contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Jun 10 2008 | China: Record Corn Crop is Expected
China's 2008/09 corn production is forecast at a record 153.0 million tons, up 3.0 million or 2percent from last month and up 1.2 million from last year's revised estimate. Corn area isestimated at 27.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 0.2 million from lastyear. According to Chinese government and industry sources, farmers responded to high'soybean profits in 2007 by shifting acreage from corn to soybeans. Planted area in NortheastChina dropped by an estimated 500,000 to 800,000 hectares. Summer corn planting on the NorthChina Plain has just begun, so total planted area is still uncertain. The 2008/09 forecast yieldwas raised to a record 5.5 tons per hectare to reflect favorable weather for planting and early cropdevelopment in May and early June.Unusually dry and warm weather in March created drought conditions in Northeast China at the'start of the planting season, but widespread rain in April and May erased the drought and raised'soil moisture levels. Planting was completed by the end of May and the crop is reportedlyemerging well. The weather has been favorably wet on the North China Plain for both springcorn (planted in April) and second-crop corn (planted this month after the winter wheat harvest).Soil moisture is adequate in all major corn regions as of May 31, with dryness reported only inShanxi and northwest China. Heavy rain in southern China caused local flooding, but the impacton corn production is expected to be minor.The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) raised its corn production estimates for 2006 and 2007to 151.6 million tons and 151.8 million tons, respectively. FAS adopted these changes andadjusted the 2006 corn area estimate to reflect revised NBS total grain data. (For moreinformation, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-720-0133.)

Jun 10 2008 | China: Favorable Weather Brings Record Wheat Yields
China's 2008/09 wheat production is estimated at 114.0 million tons, up 5.0 million from lastmonth and up 4.1 million from last year's revised estimate. The estimated yield was raised to arecord 4.87 tons per hectare due to continuing favorable weather. Area is estimated at 23.4million hectares, up 0.2 million from last month and up 0.3 million from last year. The arearevision was based on the latest provincial area data. At a recent major wheat conference inChina, winter wheat production for the nine top provinces (accounting for about 85 percent oftotal output) was estimated at 99.35 million tons, up 5 percent (4.3 million tons) from last year.Total area was up 1.5 percent (286,000 hectares) from last year. Most provinces predicted recordyields, ranging from 5.0 to 6.2 tons per hectare.Above-normal rainfall and seasonable temperatures in April and May were reported in most ofeastern China, creating very favorable conditions for flowering, filling, and maturing winterwheat. The weather from mid-May through early June was nearly ideal for harvesting, which isexpected to conclude by June 20. Recent showers caused minor harvesting delays and qualityconcerns in Anhui, Jiangsu, and Shandong. The winter wheat crop in Sichuan and Gansuprovinces was more than 90 percent harvested at the time of the May 12 earthquake, soproduction was not affected. However, subsequent heavy rainfall and damage to transportation,'storage facilities and mills may cause higher than normal post-harvest losses this year.Spring wheat prospects are currently favorable. After a dry start to the spring wheat planting'season in March, widespread rainfall in Northeast China, Inner Mongolia, and Northwest Chinahas supported good emergence and early development.The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) raised its wheat production estimates for 2006 and 2007to 108.5 million tons and 109.9 million tons, respectively. These changes were adopted by FAS.(For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-720-0133.)

Jun 10 2008 | China: Higher Soybean Area and Yield in 2008/09
China's 2008/09 soybean production is forecast at 16.0 million tons, up 2.5 million or 19 percentfrom last year. The estimated area of 9.4 million hectares is up 0.7 million or 8 percent from lastyear. According to Chinese government and industry sources, soybean area was expected toincrease by more than 800,000 hectares in northeast China (Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Jilin) inresponse to high soybean profits in 2007. The forecast yield of 1.70 tons per hectare is up almost10 percent from last year's drought-damaged crop and slightly above the 5-year average.Unusually dry and warm weather in March created drought conditions in northeast China at the'start of the planting season, but above-normal rainfall and mild temperatures in April and Mayerased the drought in most areas. Planting was completed nearly on schedule, but emergencewas delayed in some areas by cool and wet conditions. The weather has been favorable on theNorth China Plain for both spring soybeans (planted in April) and second-crop soybeans (plantedthis month after the winter wheat harvest). Soil moisture is adequate to surplus in all major'soybean regions as of May 31.The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has lowered its 2006 and 2007 area and productionestimates for all beans (of which soybeans make up 75 to 78 percent). FAS estimates for'soybean area and production were adjusted accordingly. (For more information, contact PauletteSandene at 202-720-0133.)

Jun 10 2008 | China: Higher Rapeseed Area and Production for 2008/09
China's 2008/09 rapeseed production is estimated at 11.0 million tons, up 0.6 million from lastyear's revised estimate. The estimated yield of 1.83 tons per hectare is close to last year and'slightly above the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 6.0 million hectares, up 0.3 million fromlast year. According to Chinese government and industry sources, farmers sharply increasedwinter rapeseed planted area in response to high prices in 2007 and government incentives afterthe disappointing 2007/08 crop.The 2008/09 winter rapeseed crop was planted in October 2007. Record-breaking snowfall,heavy ice, and abnormally cold temperatures were reported in all major rapeseed growingprovinces. A large number of fields were abandoned, and some crops were permanentlydamaged. Losses were heaviest in Guizhou, Yunnan, and Hubei provinces. However, theweather was mostly favorable during the flowering, pod fill and maturation stages, and higherthan anticipated yields were reported in several provinces, offsetting the earlier losses. Thewinter rapeseed harvest is now complete. Clear and warm weather in May was ideal forharvesting in the Yangtze Valley, although scattered showers in Anhui and Jiangsu caused minorharvest delays and quality concerns. Spring rapeseed (about 5 percent of total output) has beenplanted in northern and northwest China. Growing conditions are generally favorable.China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has lowered its rapeseed production estimates for2006 and 2007 to 11.0 and 10.4 million tons, respectively. FAS adopted these estimates andadjusted rapeseed area to reflect NBS revisions to total oilseed area for both years. (For moreinformation, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-720-0133.)

May 9 2008 | China Cotton Production Forecast Higher in 2008/09
China's 2008/09 cotton production is forecast at 35.5 million bales (7.73 million tons), down 0.3 million or less than 1 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 6.0 million hectares, down 0.2 million from a year ago. The yield is forecast at 1288 kilograms per hectare, down slightly from last year but equal to the record set in 2006/07. Planting surveys suggest a small decline in planted area for 2008/09 for several reasons, including the high cost of labor and production materials (such as fuel, plastic sheeting, and fertilizer), rapidly rising prices for competing crops, government incentives for grain production, and slow cotton sales. Planted area in Xinjiang, China's most important cotton province, is expected to be stable or slightly lower than last year. Cotton planting began in early April in most production areas and is nearly complete. Widespread rainfall and mild temperatures in April have helped get the 2008 crop off to an excellent start. Recent stormy weather in Xinjiang province will necessitate some replanting. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

May 9 2008 | China Rice Production Forecast Higher in 2008/09
China's 2008/09 rice crop is forecast at 130.9 million tons (187.0 rough basis), up 1.4 million from last year. This is fourth consecutive year of increased rice production in China. The forecast area of 29.8 million hectares is up 0.2 million from last year. Higher planted area for early and late rice is expected to offset expected area declines of single crop rice in Northeast China, where prices had dropped following record crops in 2006 and 2007. The forecast yield of 6.275 tons per hectare (rough basis) is the highest since 2004/05 and is close to the 10-year trend. Transplanting should be nearly complete for the early rice crop in southern China, while planting has started for the single rice crop in the northeast and central China. Rainfall and temperatures have been generally favorable for fieldwork and early development this year. There had been concern that spring drought in both southwest and northeast China would inhibit normal planting and emergence, but widespread rain in April eased the drought and improved soil moisture levels. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Mar 11 2008 | Chinese Government Announces Cotton Area and Production Data for 2007/08
The release of official government estimates led to a revision of China's 2007/08 cotton production estimate this month. Production is estimated at 35.0 million bales (7.62 million tons), down 0.5 million or 1 percent from last month and last year. The estimated area of 6.1 million hectares is unchanged from last month but up 0.1 million from last year. The 2007/08 estimated yield of 1249 kilograms per hectare is down 3 percent from last year's record yield but still the second highest on record.On February 28, the national Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published its first official area and production estimates for 2007/08. Cotton area was estimated at 5.59 million hectares, while production was estimated at 7.6 million tons (34.9 million bales). The resultant yield of 1360 kilograms per hectare is the highest on record. The latest report by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) matched the NBS production estimate for 2007/08. Other analysts and trade sources continue to estimate the 2007/08 crop at 32.2 to 35.8 million bales.In an unprecedented move, NBS has revised its published cotton area and production statistics for 2006/07. Cotton area was raised from 5.4 to 5.5 million hectares, while production was raised from 6.75 to 7.5 million tons (34.4 million bales). The added production (750,000 tons, 3.4 million bales) helps to fill the gap between reported output and apparent consumption in 2007. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Feb 8 2008 | China: Cotton Production Revised Upward
China's cotton production estimate for 2007/08 was raised this month to 35.5 million bales (7.7 million tons), up 1.0 million bales from last month but unchanged from last year. The revision is based on the latest data from the China Cotton Association (CCA). In January, the CCA raised its 2007/08 production estimate to 35.8 million bales (7.8 million tons), citing higher than expected planted area in the latest agricultural census as the reason for the increase. The latest estimate reversed an earlier reduction made by CCA in December 2007. The National Bureau of Statistics has not yet released official area or production estimates for the 2007/08 cotton crop. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 13 2007 | China Rice: Higher Rice Area and Yields in 2007/08
Rice production for 2007/08 is estimated at 129.5 million tons (milled basis), up 2.5 million or 2percent from last month and 1 percent from last years revised crop of 127.8 million tons. Ricearea is unchanged at 29.6 million hectares, up 0.3 million from last year, while the estimatedyield of 6.25 tons per hectare (rough basis) is up 2 percent from last month and up slightly fromlast year.

Nov 13 2007 | China Wheat: Production Revised Upward
Chinas 2007/08 wheat crop is estimated at 106.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 1 percent fromlast month and up 1.5 million from last years revised output of 104.5 million tons. Wheat areais unchanged this month at 23.1 million hectares, but yields were increased slightly to a record4.59 tons per hectare. According to Chinese government statistics, the 2007/08 summer graincrop (mainly winter wheat) reached 115.35 million tons, up 1.5 million from the previous year,due to higher reported yields. Several key wheat-growing provinces (Henan, Hebei, Anhui,Shandong and others) reported bumper winter wheat crops for 2007/08.

Nov 13 2007 | China Corn: Higher Area Offsets Lower Yields in Northeast China
Chinas 2007/08 corn production is estimated at 145.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 1 percentfrom last month but down slightly from last years revised crop of 145.5 million tons. Area isestimated at a record 28.0 million hectares, up more than 1 million hectares from last year, asrising worldwide demand for corn and high prices encouraged farmers to expand corn acreage.This is the third consecutive year of record planted area in China. The estimated yield of 5.18tons per hectare is down from last years record yield but close to the long term trend. Severedrought in Northeast China caused significant yield reductions, but other regions reported near toabove normal yields this year.

Oct 12 2007 | China Cotton: Major Revisions to Area and Production Series
Major revisions were made to Chinas cotton area and production series this month, beginningwith the 2004/05 crop season. The changes were based on a consensus of cotton industry andChinese government opinion that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had significantlyunderestimated cotton output in 2006/07 and most likely in previous years. Almost all of the2006/07 production discrepancy (about 1 million tons) was attributed to Xinjiang, Chinas mostimportant cotton province. Data on consumption, stocks, prices, imports, and rail deliveries all'support the assessment that production in Xinjiang has been higher than previously reported byNBS.Chinas 2007/08 cotton production is estimated at a record 35.5 million bales (7.73 million tons),up 3.0 million or 9 percent from last month but unchanged from last years revised estimate. Theestimated yield of 1,267 kilograms per hectare is down 2 percent from last years record yield.Area is estimated at 6.1 million hectares, up 0.1 million from last years revised area. Planting'surveys by the Chinese government and private companies suggest a small increase in plantedarea for 2007/08. Planted area in Xinjiang increased by an estimated 100,000 hectares (up 5percent), but estimated yields were lower than last year due to water shortages in the south andcool weather in the north.Harvesting began in August in the Yangtze River valley and is now well advanced across thecountry. Severe flooding in July lowered yields in parts of Anhui, Jiangsu, and Henan. Heavyrain from Typhoon Wipha in mid-September caused yield losses and quality problems inShandong and other coastal areas. Recent showers and cool temperatures have slowed harvestprogress and procurement on the North China Plain and northwest, but conditions are favorablydry in central China for harvesting. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 12 2007 | China Soybeans: Lower Yields in Northeast China
Chinas 2007/08 soybean production is forecast at 14.6 million tons, down 0.6 million or 4percent from last month and down 10 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 8.8 millionhectares, unchanged from last month but down 5 percent from 2006/07.High corn prices and relatively low returns for soybeans encouraged farmers to shift from'soybeans to corn. The largest reduction occurred in Heilongjiang, where planted area droppedby an estimated 400,000 hectares. Soybean area is expected to remain stable in other regions.The estimated yield of 1.66 tons per hectare is down 5 percent from last year and below the 5-year average. Drought in northeast China had a major impact on soybean yields this year.More than 50 percent of soybeans are grown in northeast China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning,and Inner Mongolia). Temperatures and soil moisture were favorable for planting andemergence in the spring, but a serious drought in June and July created stressful conditions forvegetative to reproductive soybeans in many areas. Moisture conditions improved in Augustfollowing widespread rain, but drought soon returned to the region. Growing conditions on theNorth China Plain were generally favorable in July and August, but moderate to heavy rainfall inSeptember may have delayed the harvest and affected crop quality. Temperatures were'seasonable in September and no frost was reported in the main soybean growing areas before thenormal freeze date of October 1. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 12 2007 | China Corn: Production Expected to Drop in 2007/08
China corn production for 2007/08 is estimated at 143.0 million tons, down 4.0 million or 3percent from last month and down 1 percent from last years record crop. Area is estimated at arecord 27.8 million hectares, up 0.8 million from a year ago. According to preliminarygovernment and trade estimates, corn area increased significantly in 2007/08 in response torising prices, strong demand for feed and biofuels, higher profits compared to soybeans, andgovernment financial support for grain farmers. The estimated yield of 5.14 tons per hectare isdown 4 percent from last years record yield but above the 5-year average.Soil moisture and temperatures were mostly favorable for spring corn planting in northeast,'southern and central China in March and April. Unseasonably dry and warm weather in Juneand early July stressed vegetative and reproductive corn in the Northeast, but growing conditions'stabilized following widespread rainfall in August. Growing conditions on the North ChinaPlain were generally favorable in July and August, but moderate to heavy rainfall in Septembermay have delayed the harvest and affected crop quality. Crops in Anhui, Jiangsu, and southernHenan were damaged by severe flooding in July, but the return of normal weather in Augustimproved yield prospects. Several typhoons in August and September brought heavy rain andwind damage to coastal areas, but the impact on corn yield is uncertain. (For more information,contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 12 2007 | Australia Wheat: Dry September Reduces Production Prospects
Australia wheat production for 2007/08 is forecast at 13.5 million tons, down 7.5 million or 36percent from last month, but up 3.6 million or 36 percent from last year. The area forecast is12.2 million hectares, down 0.8 or 6 percent from last month, but up 1.0 million or 9 percentfrom last year. Seasonal conditions have been variable across the major cropping regions ofAustralia. Since major sowing operations commenced in May, periods of dryness have plaguedthe Australia wheat producing states at various times. September precipitation is the mostimportant factor for determining Australia wheat yield and was far below average for all wheatareas with the exception of Western Australia. In the largest producing state of WesternAustralia, an unusually dry start to the season delayed sowing operations until substantial rainfalloccurred during July. August conditions were mostly warm accompanied by low soil moisturereserves. Substantial September rainfall significantly benefited Western Australias winter graincrop. In the southeastern producing states of Victoria and South Australia, crop conditionsdeclined despite scattered rains during the past month. In the second largest producing state ofNew South Wales an abnormally dry September severely reduced potential yield with virtuallyno rain received in the wheat belt. Persistent dryness and lack of subsoil moisture in a majorportion of Australias wheat region contributed to an estimated 26-percent drop in wheat yieldfrom the five-year average. The estimated yield of 1.11 tons per hectare is the third lowest in thepast ten seasons. The two lowest yields occurred in the severe drought years of 2002/03 and2006/07. Currently, additional rainfall is needed in all growing states to sustain the currentproduction potential. (For more information, contact Jim Crutchfield at 202-690-0135.)

Sep 13 2007 | China Peanut: Yield Expected to Drop in 2007/08
Chinas 2007/08 peanut crop is estimated at 14.0 million tons, down 2 percent from last monthand down 4 percent from last year. Estimated area is unchanged this month at 4.6 millionhectares. Yield is estimated at 3.04 tons per hectare, down 2 percent from last month due tounfavorably wet weather this summer.

Sep 13 2007 | China Sunflowerseed: Area and Yield Revised Downward
Chinas sunflowerseed production for 2007/08 is estimated at 1.8 million tons, down 290,000tons or 14 percent from last month and down 5 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 1.8tons per hectare is down 4 percent from last month due to unfavorably dry weather. Area is estimated at 990,000 hectares, down 110,000 from last month and down slightly from last year.

Sep 13 2007 | China Corn: Lower Yield Expected Due to Drought and Flooding
Chinas corn production for 2007/08 is estimated at a record 147.0 million tons, down 1.0million or 1 percent from last month but up 1 percent from last years record crop. Estimatedarea is unchanged this month at a record 27.8 million hectares.

Sep 13 2007 | China Rice: Unfavorable Weather Hurts Yield
Chinas 2007/08 rice production is estimated at 127.0 million tons (milled basis), down 2.7million or 2 percent from last month and down 1 percent from last year. Area is unchanged thismonth at 29.6 million hectares, but the estimated yield of 6.13 tons per hectare (rough basis) isdown 2 percent in response to unfavorable weather in several important rice producing provinces this summer. A serious drought in Northeast China had a negative impact on the regionsJaponica crop, which is now maturing and will be harvested later this month.

Aug 13 2007 | Lower Yields Expected for Chinas 2007/08 Soybean Crop
Chinas 2007/08 soybean crop is estimated at 15.2 million tons, down 0.4 million or 3 percentfrom last month and down 1.0 million or 6 percent from last year. The revision is based onlower forecast yields. The weather was unfavorably hot and dry for soybeans and other summercrops in Heilongjiang, eastern Inner Mongolia, and western Jilin during July and early August.Meanwhile, excessive rainfall in central China caused locally serious flooding in parts of Anhui,Jiangsu, Hubei, Sichuan, Chongqing and Henan provinces. The revised yield of 1.73 tons perhectare is lower than last year but close to the five-year average. Estimated soybean area for2007/08 is unchanged this month at 8.8 million hectares, but down 0.5 million from 2006/07.Chinese farmers made a major shift in planted area from soybeans to corn this year in responseto high corn prices and strong demand by the industrial sector. (For more information, contactPaulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jul 12 2007 | China Cotton Production is Revised Upward
The USDA has revised estimated China cotton production for 2004/05 through 2007/08.Estimated production has been increased by 1.0 million bales for 2004/05, to 30.0 million; by 1.3million bales for 2005/06, to 27.5 million; by 1.6 million bales for 2006/07, to 32.5 million; andby 1.5 million bales for 2007/08, to 32.5 million.

Jul 12 2007 | Higher China Corn Area and Yield Forecast for 2007/08
China corn production for 2007/08 is estimated at a record 148.0 million tons, up 2.0 millionfrom last month and 3.0 million from last years revised crop of 145.0 million. Area isestimated at a record 27.8 million hectares, up 0.8 million from last year. The estimated yieldof 5.32 tons per hectare is down slightly from last years record yield.

Jul 12 2007 | China Wheat Production Higher than Expected in 2007/08
Chinas 2007/08 wheat production is estimated at 105.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from last years revised output of 104.0 million. The total includes an estimated 99.0 million tons of winter wheat and 6.0 million tons of spring wheat. Total area is estimated at 23.1 million hectares, down 0.1 million from last years revised area. The estimated yield of 4.55 tons per hectares is up 1.6 percent from last years record yield.

Jun 11 2007 | China: Soybean Area and Production Expected to Drop in 2007/08
Chinas 2007/08 soybean production is forecast at 15.6 million tons, down 0.6 million or 4percent from last year. Area is estimated at 8.8 million hectares, down 0.5 million or 5 percentfrom 2006/07. High corn prices and relatively low returns for soybeans encouraged farmers to'shift from soybeans to corn. Most of the reduction occurred in Heilongjiang, where planted areadropped by an estimated 400,000 hectares.

Jun 11 2007 | China: Smaller Rapeseed Crop Forecast for 2007/08
Chinas 2007/08 rapeseed production is forecast at 12.0 million tons, down 0.7 million or 6percent from last year. Area is estimated at 6.7 million hectares, down 0.3 million from last yearand the smallest area in 9 years. The forecast yield of 1.79 tons per hectare is lower than lastyears record yield but above the 5-year average. About 85 percent of Chinas rapeseed crop is'sown in the fall and harvested in spring. Most of the crop is grown in the Yangtze River basinand Sichuan basin.

May 14 2007 | China: Slightly Higher Cotton Crop in 2007/08
Chinas 2007/08 cotton production is forecast at a record 31.0 million bales (6.75 million tons),up 0.1 million from last year. Area is estimated at 5.5 million hectares, up nearly 2 percentfrom last year, while the forecast yield of 1227 kilograms per hectare is down about 2 percentfrom last years record yield. Among the factors encouraging higher area in 2007 are favorableplanting weather, the governments new cotton seed subsidy worth 500 million Yuan (US $64million), continued strong cotton demand, and favorable returns in 2006.

Mar 12 2007 | China Peanut and Rapeseed Production Higher Than Expected
Chinas peanut and rapeseed estimates for 2006/07 were revised this month based on officialdata from the Chinas National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). On February 28, NBS announcedthat total oilseed production (rapeseed, peanuts, sesame sunflower seed, and miscellaneous'seeds) fell slightly to 30.61 million tons in 2006. An estimated 3.6-percent drop in oilseed areato 13.8 million hectares was nearly offset by an estimated 3 percent increase in yield.USDA estimates Chinas 2006/07 rapeseed production this month at 12.7 million tons, up 0.2million from last month but down 0.35 million or 3 percent from last year. Estimated area waslowered to 6.95 million hectares, down 3 percent from last month and down more than 4 percentfrom last year. Many farmers reportedly shifted from rapeseed to winter wheat in 2006. Theestimated yield of 1.83 tons per hectare is up about 2 percent from last year. Production droppedin several key rapeseed provinces along the Yangtze River due to lower planted area andunusually cool spring weather, but these losses were partly offset by higher yields in other areas.USDA estimates peanut production in 2006/07 at a record 14.6 million tons, up 0.6 million fromlast month and up 0.3 million or 2 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 4.55 millionhectares, down about 2 percent from last year, while estimated yield was raised to a record 3.21tons per hectare, up about 5 percent from a year ago. Peanut production is concentrated on theNorth China Plain, where the crop benefited from near-normal weather last summer andexcellent harvest conditions in the fall, particularly in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces.Severe drought and typhoons, however, lowered peanut output in parts of southern and'southwest China. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Feb 26 2007 | China Cotton Crop Exceeds Expectations
Chinas 2006/07 cotton crop is estimated at a record 30.9 million bales (6.73 million tons), up18 percent from last year. Area increased by 6 percent to 5.35 million hectares, while theestimated yield of 1258 kilograms per hectare is up 12 percent from last year. The record yieldis attributed to generally favorable weather during the growing season and excellent harvestconditions. On January 25, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that cotton output in 2006reached a record 6.73 million tons. This matches estimates released by the Ministry ofAgriculture and the China Cotton Association at the end of the year. Estimated output washigher than expected in Xinjiang province, the Yangtze valley, and several provinces on theNorth China Plain. Local officials reported higher quality, lower moisture content, and a largerproportion of high grade cotton than last year. China ranks first in world cotton production andaccounts for about 26 percent of global output. China is also the worlds largest importer ofcotton. Despite this years record crop, China is expected to import around 16.0 million bales in2006/07, about 40 percent of global imports. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene,202-690-0133).

Dec 12 2006 | China Cotton Production Revised Upward, Larger Crop in Xinjian
China's 2006/07 cotton production is forecast at a record 30.5 million bales (6.64 million tons), up 0.5 million from last month and 4.3 million from last year. The estimated area of 5.35 million hectares is unchanged from last month but up 290,000 hectares from a year ago. Cotton yield for 2006/07 is estimated at a record 1241 kilograms per hectare, up more than 10 percent from last year. The revision is based primarily on reports of higher than expected production in Xinjiang, China's largest cotton province. The latest estimates from government and industry sources project the Xinjiang crop at a record 2.2 to 2.3 million tons (10.1 to 10.56 million bales), accounting for more than 34 percent of China's total cotton output. Above-average yields are also expected this year from most provinces on the North China Plain and central China. The weather in China was generally dry and warmer than normal from mid-September through mid-November, creating ideal conditions for cotton harvesting. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133

Nov 9 2006 | China Corn: Record Production Expected
For 2006/07, China's corn crop is estimated at 143.0 million tons, up 2 million from last month and up 3.6 million from last year's record crop. Corn area is estimated at a record 27.0 million hectares, unchanged from last year. The estimated yield of 5.3 tons per hectare is up 1.4 percent from last month but equal to last year's record yield. China's 2006/07 main-season corn harvest started in August and was completed in October. The weather has been unusually warm and dry in most crop areas since mid-September, creating excellent conditions for crop maturation and harvest. According to preliminary harvest reports, bumper crops are expected on the North China Plain (40 percent of total production) in response to higher planted area, adequate summer rainfall, and good harvest conditions. Crop quality is reportedly better than last year, and moisture content is significantly lower. The situation was also favorable in the Northeast (36 percent of total production). In Heilongjiang, corn yield and quality were adversely affected by cool and wet weather in August and September, but production was expected to exceed last year due to higher planted area. Seasonably dry autumn weather, combined with a late frost, resulted in higher than expected yields in Jilin. Similar conditions were also reported in Liaoning and Inner Mongolia.In contrast, the weather has been less than ideal for corn in southern China, which accounts for about 10 percent of total production. A severe summer drought in Sichuan and Chongqing had a negative affect on the early corn crop, with production down by an estimated 50 percent in some locations. An autumn drought is currently affecting nearly 3 million hectares of cropland in southeast China, particularly in Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. The drought likely lowered the yield of the late corn crop, which was harvested in October. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 9 2006 | China Cotton: Excellent Harvest Weather Leads to Record Yields
China's 2006/07 cotton production is estimated at a record 30.0 million bales (6.53 million tons), up 1.0 million from last month and up 3.8 million from last year. The estimated area of 5.35 million hectares is unchanged from last month but up 290,000 hectares from a year ago. Planted area is still well below 2004/05 (5.69 MHa) and the record set in 1984/85 (6.9 MHa). The yield is estimated at a record 1,221 kilograms per hectare, up more than 8 percent from last year. Record yields are forecast in Xinjiang, China's largest cotton province, while above-average yields are expected from most provinces on the North China Plain and central China. The weather in eastern China was generally drier and warmer than normal from mid-September through October, creating ideal conditions for cotton harvesting.Preliminary harvest results have been very positive. The clear weather allowed more bolls to fully open and gave farmers the opportunity to make multiple pickings. Output is higher than previously anticipated in Xinjiang, the Yangtze valley, and several provinces on the North China Plain. Local officials report higher quality, lower moisture content, and a larger proportion of high-grade cotton than last year. Procurement has been slower than normal due to low prices, farmers' reluctance to sell, and a shortage of purchasing loans from the government. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 12 2006 | European Union Rapeseed Yields Revised Upward on Harvest Results
The October 2006/07 European Union (EU) rapeseed crop forecast was revised to 15.5 million tons, up 0.67 million from last month and 0.13 million above last year's record. Harvest results indicate that 2006/07 rapeseed yield is higher than average, despite a delayed spring and hot, dry summer weather. Yield is estimated at 3.09 tons per hectare, up 4 percent from last month and 4 percent above the 5-year age. However, yields remain below last year's 3.25 tons per hectare and the 2004/05 record of 3.41, attained from nearly ideal weather across the continent. Rapeseed area has increased for the third consecutive year due to new demand. Harvested area for 2006/07 is estimated at 5.0 million hectares, 6 percent higher than last season and up 20 percent from 2003/04. Production estimates are increased this month by 350,000 tons for Germany, 150,000 tons for Poland, 70,000 tons for the Czech Republic, and 30,000 tons for Sweden.With area expected to continue trending upward in the near-term, and the continued improvement and adoption of better plant varieties, rapeseed production is expected to continue increasing. In addition, as the EU pushes ahead with its mandate for increased renewable energy usage, demand for biodiesel will also continue increasing. The EU has set a goal of having motor vehicles using 5.75 percent of their energy from renewable fuels by 2010. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Oct 12 2006 | China's 2006/07 Wheat Crop Revised Downward
China's wheat production for 2006/07 is estimated at 103.5 million tons, down 1.5 million from last month, but up 6 percent from last year. According to Chinese government sources, summer grain production increased by 7.4 million tons this year (to 113.8 million), of which winter wheat normally accounts for about 86 percent. The estimated wheat area of 23.4 million hectares is down 100,000 hectares from last month, but up 3 percent from last year's revised area of 22.8 million. Winter wheat area has increased for the past 2 years in response to government incentives for grain farmers and favorable prices, but it is still far below historical levels. The estimated yield for 2006/07 is down fractionally this month to 4.4 tons per hectare. The winter wheat crop benefited from abundant soil moisture at planting, near-normal winter weather, and excellent harvesting conditions. Record yields have been reported in several provinces, particularly in Henan, China's most important wheat-growing province. Dry planting conditions and irregular rainfall led to lower estimated spring wheat area and yield this year. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 12 2006 | Favorable Weather Boosts China Cotton Production
China's 2006/07 cotton production is estimated at 29.0 million bales (6.3 million tons), up 1.0 million from last month and up 2.8 million from last year. The estimated area of 5.35 million hectares is up 50,000 hectares from last month and up 290,000 hectares from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 1180 kilograms per hectare, up almost 5 percent from last year. Record yields are forecast in Xinjiang, China's largest cotton province, while above average yields are expected from most provinces on the North China Plain and central China.The 2006/07 season got off to a poor start. Planting and emergence were delayed by unfavorable weather (dry, cool, and windy weather in the north and west; excessive rain in southern Hebei and western Shandong; and drought in parts of Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu). However, rainfall and temperatures returned to normal in July, and crop conditions improved as the season progressed. The crop in the Yangtze River Basin benefited from abundant sunshine, warm temperatures, and lack of flooding. Weather in Xinjiang was generally favorable throughout the season. A series of typhoons in southern China and a severe drought in the Sichuan Basin caused widespread damage to grain and cash crops but had a limited effect on total cotton production. Cool and wet weather in late August slowed crop development, caused minor boll losses, and lowered cotton quality in parts of the North China Plain. However, conditions were not as wet as in 2005/06 and 2003/04, when excessive late-season rainfall had a significant negative effect on the crop. Warmer and drier weather in September was ideal for cotton maturing and harvest across eastern China. Harvesting started in August and will continue through October. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene, 202-690-0133.)

Sep 12 2006 | Higher Cotton Yield in China
China's 2006/07 cotton crop is estimated at 28.0 million bales (6.096 million tons), up 0.5 million bales from last month and 1.8 million bales from last year. Estimated area for 2006/07 is unchanged this month at 5.3 million hectares. The forecast yield of 1,150 kilograms per hectare is up 2 percent from last month and last year. Record production is expected in Xinjiang due to higher estimated planted area and excellent forecast yields. Preliminary production estimates for Xinjiang range from 2.0 to 2.15 million tons, compared to 1.87 million tons in 2005/06. The weather has been generally favorable for cotton production in eastern China, particularly Shandong and Hubei provinces. Typhoons earlier in the summer damaged some crops in coastal areas but had a limited effect on cotton in the central Yangzte valley. Above-normal summer rainfall in Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Hebei provided abundant moisture for crop development, but there have been reports of boll shedding, quality reductions, and outbreaks of diseases and pests due to wet weather in several areas. Drier weather in September and October is needed to prevent further crop damage. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Sep 12 2006 | China's Soybean Output Revised Downward
China's 2006/07 soybean production is estimated at 16.2 million tons, down 0.5 million from last month and down 0.15 million from last year's revised output of 16.35 million tons. Soybean area is estimated at 9.3 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but down 0.3 million from last year. Chinese authorities reported that soybean area dropped in 2006 for several reasons, including higher production costs, lower prices, lower profits compared to competing crops, and government policies encouraging grain production. Most of the diverted land was planted to corn or cash crops. The estimated yield of 1.74 tons per hectare is down 3 percent from last month, but up 2 percent from last year's revised yield of 1.7 tons per hectare. The revisions for 2005/06 are based on official Chinese government statistics.Dry and cool spring weather delayed soybean planting in Northeast China, particularly in eastern Inner Mongolia and western Heilongjiang and Jilin. Widespread rain in late June eased the drought in the region. Periods of cool and rainy weather in July and August slowed crop progress, but satellite data indicates that overall vegetative growth was good. Below-normal temperatures (below 50 C.) were reported this week in parts of northern Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia, and farmers are concerned about possible yield losses from an early frost. The harvest in Heilongjiang normally starts in late September. On the North China Plain (NCP), dry weather in June delayed summer soybean planting and emergence, but abundant rainfall in July and August improved moisture conditions for crop development. Severe drought in the Sichuan province and recent heavy rainfall on the NCP may have caused localized crop losses. Several typhoons this summer caused only minor soybean damage in eastern and central China. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 11 2006 | Lower Soybean Area in China
Chinas 2006/07 soybean production is estimated at 16.7 million tons, down 0.2 million from last month due to lower estimated area. Soybean area was lowered this month to 9.3 million hectares, down 0.1 million from last month and down 0.2 million from last year. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and provincial authorities, total sown area dropped in 2006 for several reasons, including higher production costs, low prices due to pressure from imported soybeans, lower profits, and government policies encouraging grain production. The estimated yield of 1.80 tons per hectare is basically unchanged from last month, reflecting generally good weather this summerA spring drought delayed soybean planting in Northeast China, particularly in eastern Inner Mongolia and western Heilongjiang and Jilin. Widespread rain in late June eased the drought, and additional showers in July and early August provided adequate to abundant moisture for crop development. Periods of cool and cloudy weather this summer have slowed crop progress by several days, raising concerns about yield losses from an early frost. Dry and hot weather delayed the planting and emergence of summer soybeans on the North China Plain, which were planted in mid-June after the winter wheat harvest. However, the crop has benefited from seasonable weather in July and August, and yield prospects are good. Several typhoons caused locally serious flooding in parts of southern China, but the impact on the regions soybean crop has not been determined. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene, 202-690-0133)

Jul 12 2006 | China Wheat Crop Boosted By Timely Rainfall and Better Seed Varieties
Chinas 2006/07 wheat production is estimated at 105.0 million tons, up 7.5 million from last month and from last year. The estimate includes 99.0 million tons of winter wheat and 6.0 million tons of spring wheat. Area is estimated at 23.5 million hectares, up 2 percent from last month and 3 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 4.47 tons per hectare, up 5 percent from 2005/06. Winter wheat area for 2006/07 is estimated at 21.8 million hectares, up 3 percent from last year. According to planting surveys by the Ministry of Agriculture and other Chinese sources, winter wheat area increased in 2006 for the third consecutive year in response to favorable prices, government incentives, and favorable soil moisture and temperatures at planting. The percentage of total area planted to high quality, high yielding seeds (including drought/pest resistant and high protein varieties) has now reached 54 percent and is expected to increase. Winter wheat production is estimated at 99.0 million tons, up 7 million from last year, due mainly to record yields. Growing conditions were very good in the Yangtze and Huai River Basins this year. Warm temperatures and timely rainfall in May improved yield prospects in the Yellow River Valley, which had been suffering from drought, extreme temperature swings, and unusually severe sandstorms in March and April. Warm and dry weather in early June was ideal for winter wheat harvesting across China. Preliminary harvest reports from seven major wheat growing provinces (accounting for 76 percent of total production) indicate bumper crops this year, with record-to-near-record yields and higher quality than last year. Henan, Chinas largest wheat province, reported a record wheat crop of 28.2 million tons, up 2.2 million from last year, while other provinces reported production increases of 2-26 percent. Spring wheat production for 2006/07 is estimated at 6.0 million tons, similar to last year. Planted area is expected to increase slightly to 1.7 million hectares. The crop is now in the filling stage, with harvesting scheduled to begin in late July. Although drought was a problem in many spring wheat areas during May and early June, current rainfall and temperatures are generally favorable and yield prospects are good. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jun 9 2006 | China Soybean Area and Production Expected to Drop in 2006/07
China soybean production for 2006/07 is forecast at 16.9 million tons, down 0.3 million from last year. The forecast area of 9.4 million hectares is down 0.1 million from 2005/06. The forecast yield of 1.8 tons per hectare is above the 5-year average but down slightly from the last two years. In the Northeast, soybean planting was complete by the end of May. The weather was generally cooler and drier than normal last month and planting/emergence was delayed by 7 to 10 days. Planted area in Heilongjiang (which produces more than 40 percent of China's total output) is expected to drop by 4 to 9 percent this year due to higher production costs, lower returns compared to wheat, rice, and corn, as well as unfavorable planting conditions. A serious spring drought developed in Heilongjiang this year, affecting more than 4 million hectares of farmland. All rivers and reservoirs were lower than normal and soil moisture was very poor. The drought also affected large parts of Jilin and Inner Mongolia, two other important soybean-growing provinces. The arrival of timely showers this week will provide much-needed moisture for emergence and crop development. On the North China Plain (NCP), a small early soybean crop was planted in April but the larger late soybean crop will be planted in June immediately after the winter wheat harvest. Rainfall was below normal over much of the NCP in March and April, but widespread rain in late May improved growing conditions for the early crop. Warm and dry weather in June is quickly depleting the topsoil moisture and more rain will be needed soon for late crop planting and germination.A major revision was made to China's 2005/06 soybean area and production estimates this month. Production for 2005/06 is estimated at 17.2 million tons, down 1.1 from last month and down 0.2 million from the record crop in 2004/05. Soybean area is estimated at 9.5 million hectares, down 0.5 million from last month and down 0.1 million from last year. The 2005/06 revisions are based on official data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). According to NBS, China produced 21.6 million tons of total beans (soybeans, edible beans, and pulses) in 2005, down 0.7 million or 3.3 percent from 2004/05. Historically, soybeans account for 72 to 79 percent of China's total bean production. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Jun 9 2006 | China Corn Production Forecast Higher Due To An Area Increase
China's 2006/07 corn production is forecast at 138.0 million tons, up 3.0 million from last month, but down 1.4 million from last year's revised output of 139.4 million tons. The 2005/06 revision is based on official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Corn area for 2006/07 is forecast at a record 27.0 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last year's revised area of 26.8 million hectares. In 2004 and 2005, farmers responded to favorable government grain policies, strong prices, and rising demand by significantly expanding corn area, and this trend is expected to continue in 2006. The estimated yield of 5.11 tons per hectare is down from last year's near-record yield of 5.20 tons but close to the 10-year trend. Spring corn was planted in March/April in southern China and in April/May in the Northeast and eastern China. Summer corn planting will take place this month on the North China Plain following the winter wheat harvest. In the Northeast, planting and emergence was delayed by unseasonably cool and dry weather in many areas, particularly western sections of Heilongjiang and Jilin. The crop is now at the vegetative stage. Scattered showers since mid-May have improved moisture supplies in Jilin and Liaoning, but Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia remain drier than normal. In the south, spring-sown corn was affected by drought in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Sichuan, but heavier rainfall since mid-April has provided adequate to abundant moisture for crop development. The current warm and dry weather on the North China Plain is ideal for winter wheat harvesting and summer corn planting activities, but soil moisture is declining and more rain will be needed soon. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene, 202-690-0133).

May 12 2006 | China's 2006/07 cotton production
China's 2006/07 cotton production is estimated at 28.0 million bales (6.1 million tons), up 7 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.35 million hectares is up 6 percent from last year, while the forecast yield of 1139 kilograms per hectare is up slightly from last year but below the record set in 2002/03. Increased cotton prices and profits after the 2005 harvest encouraged farmers to expand planted area for 2006/07. The largest area increases were expected in the Yellow River region, particularly Hebei and Shandong provinces, with smaller increases foreseen in the Yangtze River basin. Planted area in Xinjiang was expected to equal or slightly exceed last year's record level. Planting is underway across the country. In the Northwest, unseasonably cool and blustery weather in April and early May slowed planting progress in northern Xinjiang and Gansu by more than a week, although planting in Shanxi, Shaanxi and southern Xinjiang was on schedule. There were also planting delays in northern Henan, southern Shandong, and southern Hebei due to drought and cold temperatures in April, but progress has accelerated in recent days with the return of seasonable weather. In central China, warm temperatures and abundant moisture created good planting conditions in Hunan, Anhui and Sichuan. A recent outbreak of thunderstorms caused locally serious rain and hail damage to cotton seedlings in Jiangsu and Shandong, and some replanting will be necessary. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 12 2006 | China's 2006/07 rice production
China's 2006/07 rice production is estimated at 129.0 million tons (184.29 million tons, rough basis), up 1.6 million from last year due to higher estimated area and yield. Strong government support for grain production, including lower taxes, guaranteed prices, and seed subsidies, has encouraged farmers to expand planted area for the past three years. The single rice crop, grown primarily in northern and central China, is expected to have the largest area increase in 2006/07. Widespread moderate to heavy rain in southern China has provided abundant moisture for the early rice crop, which was planted in March and April. Southwest China suffered from drought earlier this spring, but rainfall has increased in recent weeks and the situation is improving. Cool spring weather has slowed preparations for single crop planting in the Northeast, but warm and wet weather in central China is nearly ideal for rice planting. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 12 2006 | Foreign Rice Output Expected To Rise For 2006/07
Foreign milled rice production for 2006/07 is estimated at 410.5 million tons, up 6.1 million or 1.5 percent from last year. The increase is due to a small rise in both estimated area (152.05 million hectares, up 1.5 million) and forecast yield. Production is expected to drop by 300,000 tons in Pakistan due to lower yields (down from last year's record level). In Japan and South Korea, government-mandated area reductions and declining yields are expected to cut production this year. The largest production gains are expected in India (up 2.1 million tons) and China (up 1.6 million). However, the largest percent production increases are expected in Australia and Brazil (both up 9 percent) due to higher forecast yields. Higher production is anticipated in Nigeria (up 100,000 tons) as well as the major rice producers in Southeast Asia, notably Bangladesh (up 800,000 tons) and Cambodia (up 190,000 tons). Only minor year-to-year area and production changes are expected in the EU, other Central and South America countries, the former Soviet Republics, and Africa. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 12 2006 | China's 2006/07 wheat area is estimated at 23.0 million hectares, up 100,00
Heavy rainfall in September/October 2005 provided adequate to abundant soil moisture for winter wheat planting. Mild temperatures in November aided wheat germination and emergence, especially in the southern plains. Sharply colder temperatures in mid December sent the crop into dormancy about a week ahead of schedule. In January and February, near normal temperatures and occasional snowfall maintained adequate soil moisture and protected the dormant crop from freeze damage. Rainfall in March and April was lower than normal in the Yellow River basin, particularly in Hebei, Beijing, and northern Shandong and crop conditions were not as favorable as last year. Several strong fronts brought colder temperatures, sandstorms, and scattered showers to eastern China during April and May. The rain provided some drought relief to parts of the Yellow River basin, but more is needed to improve yield potential in the region. Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Sichuan, and Hubei provinces had abundant rain and generally warm temperatures this spring, and the crop in these provinces appears to be in very good condition. Winter wheat is now in the heading/grain-fill stage in most areas. Spring wheat was planted in April and will be harvested in July/August. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Mar 10 2006 | China Soybeans: Record Crop Estimated in 2005/06
China's soybean output for 2005/06 is estimated at a record 18.3 million tons, up 1.3 million or 8 percent from last month and up 5 percent from last year. Soybean area for 2005/06 was raised this month to 10.0 million hectares, up 0.4 million from last month and last year. The estimated yield of 1.83 tons per hectare is slightly higher than last year but below the record set in 2002/03. According to provincial statistics, soybean output declined in Liaoning but increased to a record 7.5 million tons in Heilongjiang, China's largest soybean province. Soybean production estimates for 2005/06 are not yet available for other provinces, but higher total grain output for Jilin, Henan, Shandong, and Hebei suggest higher soybean output in these provinces as well (soybeans are counted as grain in Chinese statistics). In Anhui and Jiangsu, excessive wetness in late summer had a negative yield effect on all 2005/06 autumn crops, including soybeans. According to the Foreign Agricultural Service's office in Beijing, the unexpectedly large year-to-year increase in soybean production may be the result of policy decisions by the Chinese government. Before 2004, China's area-based agricultural tax system resulted in serious under reporting of planted area and output, particularly in Heilongjiang. The abolition of the tax in 2004 and the start of an area-based subsidy in 2005 resulted in an additional 600,000 to 1 million hectares of reported soybean area in Heilongjiang. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Mar 10 2006 | China Rapeseed: Up Due to Larger Crops in Henan, Guizhou, and Shaanxi
China's rapeseed output for 2005/06 is estimated at 13.05 million tons, up 1.65 million tons from last month, but down 132,000 tons from last year's record crop. The revision is based on official data published by China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in February. The estimated area of 7.25 million hectares is down slightly from last month and last year, but the estimated yield of 1.8 tons per hectare is nearly equal to last year's record yield. Production data for 2005/06 have now been published by NBS for six provinces, representing almost 60 percent of national output. The data show that rapeseed output declined in Jiangsu (-5 percent), Anhui (-4 percent), and Hubei (-7 percent) in 2005/06. Unusually wet and cool spring weather caused yield losses in these provinces, but the damage was apparently less than most analysts expected. These losses were partially offset by larger crops in Henan (+12 percent), Guizhou (+4 percent), and Shaanxi (+3 percent). Provincial data from other major rapeseed provinces such as Sichuan, and Hunan are not yet available. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Feb 8 2006 | China Cotton: Production in 2005/06 Revised Upward
China's 2005/06 cotton production is estimated at 26.2 million bales (5.7 million tons), up 1.7 million from last month, but down 2.8 million from last year. Area is estimated at 5.1 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but down 10 percent from a year ago. The estimated yield of 1119 kilograms per hectare is up slightly from last year and above the 5-year average. In January, China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that cotton production in 2005/06 totaled 5.7 million tons, down more than 9 percent from last year. The NBS estimate was higher than earlier estimates by other Chinese government sources but in line with other industry forecasts. Cotton area in 2005/06 dropped in most provinces in response to lower profits after the bumper 2004/05 crop and government policies that encouraged farmers to plant more grain. The weather was favorable during the first half of the growing season on the North China Plain, but unusually wet and stormy weather from August to October caused production losses and quality damage in several provinces. Below average yields are estimated in Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan and Hubei provinces due to excessive late-season rainfall. In contrast, Hebei and Shandong experienced generally favorable weather and good yields. Local officials in the northwest province of Xinjiang reported that higher area and good weather resulted in record yield and production this year, partially offsetting losses elsewhere. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jan 1 2006 | China Wheat: Higher Expected Yields in 2005/06
China's wheat production for 2005/06 is estimated at 97.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from last month and up more than 5.0 million from last year. The estimated area of 22.7 million hectares is unchanged from last month, but up 1.1 million from a year ago. Wheat yield is estimated at a record 4.27 tons per hectare, up slightly from last year. These revisions are based on recently released data from China's Ministry of Agriculture and other sources. Winter wheat production is typically about 95 percent of total wheat. For 2005/06, the crop is estimated at 92.0 million tons, the largest crop since 2000/01. Area increased by an estimated 6 percent in 2005/06 in response to good prices and government incentives designed to boost grain area. Yields benefited from generally favorable weather, including adequate soil moisture at planting, abundant snow cover during the winter, and warm spring temperatures. However, untimely rainfall in parts of the North China Plain during the harvest reportedly led to quality problems. Spring wheat area and production dropped in 2005/06, continuing its downward trend. The estimated spring wheat yield of 3.23 tons per hectare is lower than last year's record yield, but above the 5-year average. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jan 1 2006 | China Corn: Record Crop Forecast for 2005/06
China's corn production for 2005/06 is estimated at a record 134.0 million tons, up 4.0 million from last month and up 3.7 million from last year. Area was revised upward this month to a record 26.2 million hectares, up 0.8 million from a year ago. The Chinese government offered various tax incentives and subsidies in 2004 and 2005 to encourage farmers to increase total grain area, and farmers responded positively. Large corn area increases were reported in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, while lower prices for cotton led to a shift from cotton to corn on the North China Plain. The estimated yield of 5.1 tons per hectare is nearly equal to last year's excellent yield but below the record set in 1998/99. These revisions are based on recently-released data from China's Ministry of Agriculture and other sources. Few provincial estimates have been announced, although agricultural officials in Jilin (a major corn province) reported a corn crop of 19.0 million tons, up nearly 1.0 million from last year. Abundant rainfall and warm temperatures during the growing season favored crop development in the important corn-producing provinces of northern and eastern China. Above-average yields are expected for Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Heilongjiang, and Jilin provinces. In contrast, heavy rain and tropical storms lowered yield prospects in Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Anhui, Jiangsu and parts of Shandong, while summer drought stressed the crop in parts of central and southern China. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Dec 1 2005 | China: Wheat Production Higher in 2005/06
China's wheat production for 2005/06 is estimated at 96.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from last month and up 4.1 million from last year. Area is estimated at 22.7 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 1.1 million from last year. This is the first year-to-year increase in area since 1997/98. The year-to-year increase in production is due to a 6-percent increase in area. Winter wheat production is estimated at 91.0 million tons. The estimated wheat yield of 4.23 tons per hectare is nearly equal to last year's record yield. The crop benefited from generally favorable weather, but untimely rainfall in parts of the North China Plain during the harvest reportedly caused quality problems. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Dec 1 2005 | China: Higher Area Boosts Corn Production
China is expected to produce its third largest corn crop in 2005/06. Production is estimated at 130.0 million tons, up 4 million from last month and similar to last year's crop. Planted area for 2005/06 is estimated at a record 26.0 million hectares, up 2 percent from last year. Corn area dropped sharply in 2000/01 after two consecutive bumper crops resulted in excessive stocks and low prices. In 2003/04 the grain crop was lower than expected. In order to induce farmers to plant more corn, the Chinese government offered tax breaks and subsidies. Corn area rebounded in 2004/05 and 2005/06 and has now surpassed the previous record set in 1999/00. The estimated yield of 5.0 tons per hectare is down 2 percent from last year's excellent yield. Abundant rainfall and warm temperatures during the growing season favored crop development in the important corn-producing provinces of northern and eastern China. However, excessive rainfall during flowering and pollination lowered yield prospects in parts of Liaoning, Jilin, and Inner Mongolia, while tropical storms damaged corn in Shandong and Jiangsu. Harvesting is now complete. Scattered showers in September caused minor delays in the Northeast, but temperatures remained above freezing in the main crop areas through mid-October, at least one week longer than normal. Heavy rain in September may have lowered yields and crop quality in parts of the North China Plain, but warmer and drier weather in October aided harvesting. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 1 2005 | China: Excessive Rains Drop Corn Yields
China's corn production for 2005/06 is estimated at 126.0 million tons, down 1.0 million fromlast month and down 4.3 million from last years crop. Corn area for 2005/06 was raised to 26.0million hectares, up 0.55 million from last years revised area of 25.45 million hectares. (TheChinese government published final 2004/05 area statistics in September). Corn area increasedin 2005/06 mainly on the North China Plain. The government offered various tax and policyincentives in 2005 to encourage farmers to expand grain production. At the same time, lowerprices for cotton in 2004 led to a significant reduction in cotton area this year, opening up arableland for corn planting. The estimated corn yield of 4.85 tons per hectare is down 5 percent fromlast years excellent yield but equal to the 5-year average.Based on crop travel in September by FAS personnel and other analysts, it appears that abundantrainfall and warm temperatures supported average crop development in the important cornproducingprovinces of Hebei, Henan, and Heilongjiang. However, excessive rainfall duringflowering and pollination lowered yield prospects in Liaoning, Jilin, and Inner Mongolia thisyear. Conditions in Shandong province were mixed, with good yields expected in the northwestpart of the province and lower yields expected in the southeast. There were reports of significantproblems with insects and diseases in several provinces. Harvesting is now underway acrossChina. Scattered showers in the Northeast caused minor delays, but temperatures have remainedabove freezing in the main production areas and the harvest should soon be complete. On theNorth China Plain, periods of heavy rain in September and early October have hindered harvestactivities and may have reduced yield prospects and crop quality. (For more information,contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 1 2005 | China: Rains Reduce Cotton Output
China's 2005/06 cotton production isestimated at 24.5 million bales (5.33 milliontons), down 1.0 million from last month anddown 4.5 million from last year. Area isestimated at 5.1 million hectares, unchangedfrom last month. The forecast yield of 1046kilograms per hectare is down 6 percent fromlast year and below the 5-year average. Thecotton crop is now at the open boll stage andharvesting is underway.Crop conditions deteriorated in Septemberover most of the North China Plain due toexcessive rainfall and storm damage. Theprecipitation pattern in this area has been very'similar to 2003, when heavy late-seasonrainfall caused sharply lower yields. This wetpattern extended into early October,bringing additional unwelcome rain toShandong, southern Hebei, Shaanxi,Henan, Hubei, Anhui, and Jiangsu.Severe flooding has been reported thisweek in parts of Hubei and Shaanxiprovinces. According to local sources,crop quality was rated fair to poor inmost areas and moisture levels wereexcessive. The rain, cloudiness, andcool temperatures have slowedmaturation and delayed harvest progress.There have been many reports ofbollworm and aphid infestations, diseaseoutbreaks (such as fursarium wilt), boll rot, and boll dropping.The situation is more favorable in Xinjiang, Chinas most important cotton-producing province(about 34 percent of total production). Planting in Xinjiang was hampered by cool temperaturesand periodic storms, but local sources report that summer weather was very good and yieldprospects are excellent. Planted area increased in 2005/06 to approximately 1.15 millionhectares, and production is forecast to reach a record 1.8 million tons.

Sep 1 2005 | China: Cotton Yield Prospects Are Mixed
Chinas 2005/06 cotton output is estimated at 25.5 million bales (5.55 million tons), down 2 percent from last month and down 12 percent from last year. Cotton area was raised this month to 5.1 million hectares based on recently published planted area estimates from provincial officials and industry sources. The forecast yield of 1,089 kilograms per hectare is lower than last year but slightly above the 5-year average. The cotton crop is now at the open boll stage and harvesting has begun. Although cotton planting in Xinjiang was impeded by cool temperatures and periodic storms, local sources report that summer weather was very good and yield prospects are excellent. Growing conditions in the central Yangtze basin (Hunan, Jianxi, and Southern Hubei) and the northwest (Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Gansu) have been generally favorable, and yields are expected to equal or exceed last year. Widespread rainfall in July provided adequate to abundant moisture for crop development across the North China Plain, and current yield prospects in Hebei, Shandong, and northern Henan are rated good to excellent. However, two major typhoons brought damaging wind and rain to parts of Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang in August and September; and there have been reports of significant insect infestations, disease outbreaks, and boll shedding in these areas. The precipitation pattern to date in this area is very similar to 2003, when heavy late-season rainfall caused sharply lower yields. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 1 2005 | China: Corn Production in 2004/05 Revised Upward
Chinas corn production estimate for 2004/05 was revised this month to 130.0 million tons, up 2.0 million from the previous estimate and up 14.2 million from the 2003/04 crop. Estimated area is unchanged at 24.5 million hectares: the estimated yield was raised to a record 5.31 tons per hectares. According to Chinese government and industry sources, corn yields were high in many corn-growing regions and significantly above the drought-affected crop in 2003/04. Adequate moisture and seasonable temperatures, the increased use of agricultural inputs and high-yielding varieties, the late arrival of the first frost in the Northeast, and minimal damage from flooding and other natural disasters all contributed to the bumper crop. For 2005/06, China is expected to produce 127.0 million tons of corn, down 3.0 million or 2 percent from last year. The area estimate of 25.0 million hectares is up 500,000 hectares from last year, but yields are expected to return to normal. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 1 2005 | China: Peanut Production Expected To Rise in 2005/06
China's peanut production in 2005/06 is estimated at 14.7 million tons (unshelled), down 0.3 million from last month, but up 0.4 million from last year. The estimated yield of 2.94 tons per hectare is similar to last year and the 5-year average. Peanut area for 2005/06 is estimated at 5.0 million hectares, down 0.1 million from last month, but up slightly from last year. Chinas peanut area has been stable for several years. China is the largest producer of peanuts in the world. A small amount of peanuts is exported but most of the crop is consumed domestically. About 60 percent of the crop is grown on the North China Plain (NCP), primarily in Shandong, Henan, Hubei, and Anhui provinces, but peanuts are also grown widely in central and southern China. Planting conditions on the NCP were generally good this year, but very hot weather in mid-June may have stressed the vegetative crop. Rainfall has been heavier than normal since mid-July on the NCP, particularly in Henan and Shandong provinces, providing abundant moisture for crop development. However, yield potential could drop if additional heavy rain in August and September interferes with the harvest. The important peanut provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi have had favorable weather since June, but below-normal rainfall over a wide area of southern and central China could become a problem if it continues through August. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 1 2005 | China: Lower Rapeseed Production in 2005/06
Rapeseed accounts for about 49 percent of Chinas total oilseed area and 39 percent of total production. Rapeseed production in 2005/06 is estimated at 11.4 million tons, down 0.4 million from last month and down 1.8 million from last years record crop. The estimated area of 7.2 million hectares is down 0.3 million from last month, but up 0.2 million from last years revised area. No official area estimates for 2004/05 or 2005/06 have been published. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), total oilseed area dropped by 0.56 million hectares in 2004/05, which implies a year-to-year reduction in rapeseed area of 200,000 to 300,000 hectares. Rapeseed area in 2005/06 was expected to return to the level of recent years. The forecast yield of 1.58 tons per hectare is lower than last years record yield and below the 5-year average. More than 90 percent of Chinas rapeseed is a winter crop planted in September/October and harvested in May. Five provinces in central China (Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Sichuan) account for about 55 percent of Chinas rapeseed production. The minor summer rapeseed crop is grown in western and northern China. Planting conditions for the 2005/06 winter crop were fair to good. Autumn drought in south-central China caused some planting delays, but soil moisture and temperatures were generally favorable in most areas. The winter was mild but drier than normal. According to local officials, traders, and industry analysts, unusually cold weather in February and March caused crop losses of 10 to 30 percent in Hubei. It was also colder than normal in Henan and Sichuan at the time, but seasonable temperatures in Anhui and Jiangsu favored crop development. The summer rapeseed crop in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia has benefited from wet weather (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 1 2005 | Winter wheat area for 2005/06 is estimated at 21.3 million hec-tares, up 1.05 million from last year
Spring wheat's share of total wheat production has dropped from 10 percent in 1994 to less than 5 percent in 2004, as farmers shifted to more profitable crops or abandoned marginal cropland. Production in 2005/06 is forecast at 4.0 million tons, down 0.5 million from last year due to lower area and yield. The crop is now maturing and will be harvested in August/September. Excessive wetness in parts of the Northeast may have caused local crop losses, and continued wetness during the harvest could lower yield prospects further. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 1 1997 | CHINA: SOYBEANS AND PEANUTS AFFECTED BY DROUGHT
China's 1997/98 soybean crop is estimated at 13.5 million metric tons, down 1.0 million or 7 percent from last month, but unchanged from last year. Soybean area is estimated at 8.2 million hectares, down 300,000 hectares from last month, but up 400,000 hectares from 1996/97. Year to year, farmers planted less corn and more soybeans following last year's record corn harvest, but the USDA agricultural counselor in Beijing reports that the shift was smaller than anticipated, particularly in Heilongjiang Province. Summer rainfall was adequate and crop conditions are generally favorable in Heilongjiang where more than 30 percent of China's soybeans are grown. However, hot and dry weather in June and July stressed soybeans and peanuts in other parts of the Northeast and the North China Plain. The drought was especially severe in Shandong Province, which accounts for more than 30 percent and 9 percent of China's peanuts and soybeans, respectively. China's peanut production is estimated at 9.0 million tons, down 1.0 million from last month and down 1.1 million from last year. The reduction is based on lower projected yields due to the drought on the North China Plain and a reduction in estimated area due to dry conditions during the planting season. Scattered showers in late July and early August eased the drought and may have prevented further crop losses.

Aug 1 1997 | CHINA: CORN PROSPECTS HURT BY DROUGHT
Corn production in China is estimated at 110.0 million metric tons for 1997/98, down 12.0 million or 10 percent from last month and down 17.0 million or 14 percent from last year's record crop. Corn area is estimated at 23.5 million hectares, down 1.0 million from a year ago. A drought in parts of the Northeast and the North China Plain cut prospective corn yields to 4.68 tons/hectare, down 10 percent from last year and below the 5-year average. Planting proceeded normally across the Northeast, but dryness delayed planting in parts of the North China Plain. The USDA agricultural counselor in Beijing reported that unusually hot and dry weather in June and July caused significant stress to non-irrigated corn in Hebei and Jilin Provinces. Moderate-to-heavy rainfall in late July and early August helped alleviate the drought in many areas, though Chinese officials are concerned that the rain may have come too late to improve crop prospects in the worst-affected parts of Shandong and Hebei.

Aug 1 1997 | CHINA: WHEAT CROP SETS NEW PRODUCTION RECORD
Excellent yields and record planted area resulted in a record estimated wheat crop for China for 1997/98. Production is estimated at 121.0 million tons, up more than 10 million from last year. Encouraged by high procurement prices, farmers expanded winter wheat area by more than 400,000 hectares this year. The winter wheat crop, which was planted in the fall of 1996 and harvested in June, 1997, benefitted from ideal weather during reproduction, filling, and harvesting. The Chinese Government announced that the summer grain harvest, of which winter wheat accounts for more than 85 percent, reached 124.0 million tons in 1997. The spring wheat crop, grown north and west of the Great Wall, will be harvested in August. Weather has been mixed and a near-normal crop is expected.

Sep 1 1997 | CHINA: PEANUT YIELDS REDUCED BY DROUGHT
China's peanut production for 1997/98 is estimated at 8.0 million tons, down 1.0 million from last month and down 2.1 million from last year. The projected yield of 2.22 tons/hectare is the lowest since 1992/93 and is based on continued drought in several major peanut-growing provinces on the North China Plain. Yield prospects have declined in Henan, southern Hebei, and western Shandong, where the weather was abnormally hot and dry for most of the summer. These three provinces account for more than 60 percent of China's total peanut crop. Moisture levels improved in eastern Shandong, Anhui, and Jiangsu following moderate-to-heavy rain in August, but the rain may have come too late in the season to boost yields. Excessive rainfall associated with Typhoon Winnie (August 20) reportedly caused additional damage to Shandong's peanut crop. The weather in southern China (where about 20 percent of the total crop is grown) has been wetter than normal this year.

Sep 1 1997 | CHINA: COTTON OUTPUT LOWER IN 1997
China's 1997/98 cotton production is estimated at 17.5 million bales, up 0.5 million from last month, but down 1.8 million or 9 percent from last year. The projected yield of 847 kg/hectare is lower than last year's near-record yield but higher than the 5-year average of 784 kg/hectare. Serious drought in July and August stressed non-irrigated cotton in several key cotton- producing provinces, including Shandong, Henan, and Shanxi. Crop conditions improved in Jiangsu, Anhui, and eastern Shandong following beneficial rain in August, but the weather continues unfavorably hot and dry in the western part of the North China Plain. Bollworms were reported in several prefectures in Shandong and Xinjiang, but the insect has not posed a significant problem as in earlier years. High yields are projected in Xinjiang Province which has enjoyed normal weather this summer. Cotton area is forecast at 4.5 million hectares, down 5 percent from last season and the lowest planted area since 1986. The area decline continues a downward trend that began in 1995. Farmers reduced cotton area in 1997 for several reasons, including higher labor and production costs compared to other crops, chronic problems with bollworm infestations, and government policies that promoted grain production. Farmers also were discouraged by stagnant cotton prices and tight Government controls on the cotton industry. However, cotton area continues to increase in the northwest province of Xinjiang, partially offsetting area movement to other crops in the North China Plain. Xinjiang's soils and climate are well suited to cotton cultivation and yields are among the highest in the country. Future area expansion in the province will be limited by irrigation supplies, since the province does not receive enough annual rainfall to produce cotton without irrigation.

Oct 1 1997 | CHINA: RICE PRODUCTION RAISED BASED ON INCREASED AREA
Rice production in China is estimated at 136.0 million tons (milled basis), up 2.0 million from last month, but down 0.5 million from last season. Harvested area is revised higher to reflect an upward revision in the 1996/97 area by China's State Statistical Bureau. Harvested area for 1997/98 is forecast at 31.4 million hectares, virtually unchanged from last year. Yield is estimated at 6.19 tons per hectare, down marginally from last season's record level. The early- rice crop (which represents about one-fourth of total-rice) was reported to be about 1.5 million tons larger than 1996/97. Field travel by the USDA officials confirm area continues to be near last season's level and that the early-rice crop was excellent.

Oct 1 1997 | CHINA: DROUGHT REDUCES CORN YIELDS
Corn production for 1997/98 is estimated at 105.0 million metric tons, down 5.0 million or 5 percent from last month and down 18 percent from last year's record crop. The revision is based on information gathered by USDA analysts during September field travel to several key corn-producing provinces. The team reported that corn output will be down significantly from last year due to the summer drought which affected nearly all provinces in the North China Plain and the Northeast. The largest production drops are expected in Shandong, Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, and Jilin provinces. Corn yield is estimated at 4.47 tons/hectare, down 14 percent from last year's record level and the lowest yield since 1989/90.

Dec 1 1997 | CHINA: COTTON CROP ESTIMATED HIGHER
China's 1997/98 cotton crop is estimated at 18.5 million bales, up 0.5 million or 3 percent from last month, but down 4 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 895 kilograms per hectare, slightly higher than last year and well above the 5-year average of 784 kilograms per hectare. Reports indicate that a record crop of 4.8 million bales was harvested in Xinjiang Province, while favorable late-summer and autumn weather led to higher-than-expected yields in Hunan, Hubei, and other provinces in central China. These gains helped offset low estimated yields on the North China Plain, which suffered from serious drought this past summer. The cotton harvest has gone smoothly. As of November 25, the Government had purchased 11.8 million bales of cotton from farmers, the highest procurement level in several years.

Jan 1 1998 | CHINA: DROUGHT IMPACT ON SOYBEANS LESS THAN EXPECTED
Soybean production in 1997/98 is estimated at 13.8 million tons, up 0.3 million or 2 percent from last month due to higher estimated yield. The U.S. agricultural counselor's office in Beijing reports that losses due to last summer's drought in northern China were apparently not as serious as previously anticipated. Production is projected to be good in the Northeast province of Heilongjiang, where about 30 percent of China's total soybean crop is grown. The estimated yield of 1.68 tons per hectare is lower than last year but close to the 5-year average.

Jan 1 1998 | CHINA: RECORD YIELDS BOOST COTTON OUTPUT
China's 1997/98 cotton production is estimated at 19.5 million bales (4.25 million tons), up 1.0 million bales or 5 percent from last month and up slightly from last year's crop of 19.3 million. The revision is based on higher estimated yields in several key cotton-producing provinces, particularly Henan Province on the North China Plain. Lower planted area was offset by higher yields, which were increased by 6 percent to a record high 943 kilograms per hectare. Generally favorable late-summer and autumn weather led to high yields in Hunan, Hubei, and adjacent provinces. High yields also were reported in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, where about 25 percent of China's cotton is grown. Other factors that contributed to China's output in 1997/98 include fewer insect problems than in previous years, the expanded use of hybrid varieties, and improved irrigation facilities. For several years, cotton area has been declining in the low-yielding provinces of northern China but steadily increasing in the Northwest, where growing conditions for cotton are more favorable and yield potentials are higher.

Jan 1 1998 | CHINA: WHEAT AND RICE OUTPUT SETS RECORD
China's 1997/98 wheat production is raised this month to an estimated 124.0 million tons, up 3.0 million or 2 percent from last month and up 12 percent from last year's record crop. Farmers expanded wheat area by an estimated 0.4 million hectares to 30.0 million. Ideal conditions at planting and excellent spring weather led to a record winter wheat crop. Spring wheat, grown primarily north of the Great Wall, also benefitted from favorable weather this year. The estimate for China's 1997/98 rice crop is a record 138.5 million tons (milled basis), up 1.5 million or 1 percent from last month and 1 percent from last year. Generally favorable summer and autumn weather, the increased use of high-yielding hybrid varieties, and improved management techniques helped China achieve a record rice yield in 1997.

Jan 1 1998 | CHINA: STATE STATISTICAL BUREAU ANNOUNCES 1997 CROP ESTIMATES
China's State Statistical Bureau (SSB) recently announced its preliminary estimates for total grain, cotton, and total oilseed output in 1997/98. Total grain production is estimated at 492.5 million tons, down 12 million from last year's record crop and China's second-largest output. (China includes wheat, rough rice, corn, other grains, tubers, and soybeans in its total grain estimate). The excellent harvest was achieved despite a serious summer drought in northern China and excessive rainfall in parts of the south. Record crops of wheat and rice partially offset a large decline in corn production. The preliminary cotton production estimate is 19.75 million bales (4.3 million tons). The SSB reported area was lower than last year, but record yields pushed production above the 1996/97 output of 19.3 million bales. Total oilseed output dropped by an estimated 1.0 million tons from 1996/97 to 21.0 million this year. The reduction was due to a large decline in the peanut crop, which was severely impacted by drought last summer.

Mar 1 1998 | CHINA: HIGHER ESTIMATES FOR CORN AND PEANUTS
A serious drought cut 1997/98 coarse grain and oilseed yields in northern China but the impact was less than initially expected, according to Chinese officials and the U.S. agricultural counselor in Beijing. China's 1997/98 corn crop is estimated at 110.0 million tons, up 5.0 million or 5 percent from last month, but down 14 percent from last year's record crop of 127.5 million. Corn area was down 4 percent in 1997, and the drought in northern China resulted in below-average yields. No official Chinese Government estimates of corn production by province are currently available, but preliminary reports indicate the largest year-to-year production declines occurred in Shandong, Liaoning, and Jilin provinces. The estimate for China's 1997/98 peanut crop was raised to 8.8 million tons, up 0.8 million or 10 percent from last month, but down 13 percent from last year's near-record crop. Although peanut area increased by an estimated 3 percent in 1997, the drought hurt yields in the main peanut-growing provinces of northern China.

May 1 1998 | CHINA: PEANUT ESTIMATE RAISED
China's 1997/98 peanut production is estimated at 9.6 million tons, up 0.8 million from last month, but down 0.5 million or 5 percent from last year's crop. The revision is based on official statistics recently published by the Chinese Government. Area is estimated up 0.1 million hectares from last year to 3.7 million, but abnormally hot and dry summer weather hurt yields on the North China Plain, particularly in Henan, southern Hebei, and western Shandong Provinces. These three provinces account for more than 60 percent of China's total peanut production. The peanut crop in eastern Shandong, Anhui, and Jiangsu benefitted from moderate rainfall in August, and the weather was generally favorable in southern China, where about 20 percent of the crop is grown.

Jun 1 1998 | CHINA: 1997/98 COTTON PRODUCTION REVISED HIGHER
China's 1997/98 cotton production estimate was raised this month to 21.1 million bales (4.6 million tons), up 7 percent from last month and up 9 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 4.5 MHa, down 5 percent from last year and the lowest planted area since 1986. Estimated yield, at 1022 kg/Ha, is 13 percent higher than the previous record yield of 903 kg/Ha set in 1984/85. A record crop was harvested in Xinjiang, which has become the most important cotton-growing province in the country, accounting for almost 25 percent of China's total output. Favorable late-summer and autumn weather in central China led to very high yields in Hunan, Hubei, and other provinces in the Yangtze River basin. The impact of last summer's drought on cotton output on the North China Plain was minor. Production in Hebei, Shandong, and Henan provinces matched the good yields reported in 1996/97, but output dropped in the minor producing provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Sichuan.

Jun 1 1998 | CHINA: HIGHER SOYBEAN AREA AND YIELD ESTIMATED FOR 1997/98
China's 1997/98 soybean crop is estimated at 14.7 million tons, up 0.9 million or 7 percent from last month and up 11 percent from last year. The year-to-year increase was due to higher estimated planted area and record yields. A record corn harvest in 1996/97 led to lower corn prices, which encouraged farmers to shift from corn to soybeans the following year. Soybean area reached an estimated 8.3 million hectares in 1997/98, up 10 percent from last year and close to the 5-year average. Estimated yield, at 1.78 tons per hectare, is a record slightly above 1996/97. Hot, dry weather in June and July 1997 stressed soybeans and other crops in parts of the Northeast and the North China Plain. Some of the driest conditions were reported in Shandong, China's second largest soybean province. However, moderate-to-heavy rain in late-July and early-August helped alleviate the drought and prevented further crop losses. In Heilongjiang, China's largest soybean producer, summer rainfall was adequate and growing conditions were favorable. The larger-than-expected soybean crop, weak demand for soybean products, large local stocks, and the continued arrival of imports, have caused downward pressure on the domestic soybean market. Many oilseed crushers in the Northeast have stopped operations because of poor profits, and farmers are likely to reduce soybean area in 1998/89 and shift to alternatives such as grain or horticultural products.

Aug 1 1998 | CHINA: LOWER WHEAT CROP EXPECTED
China's 1998/99 wheat crop is estimated at 110.0 million tons, down 8.0 million or 7 percent from last month and down 11 percent from last year's record crop. Area is estimated at 29.8 million hectares, down slightly from last year. The estimated yield of 3.69 tons per hectare is close to the 5-year average, but down from the last two years. The State Statistical Bureau announced that 1998/99 summer grain output was 113.1 million tons, down 14.6 million or 11 percent from last year's record crop. Historically, about 88 percent of the summer grain crop is comprised of winter wheat. The U.S. agricultural counselor's office in Beijing traveled to several of China's major winter wheat producing provinces and reported that winter wheat production, which represents 90 percent of China's total wheat crop, was expected to decline as much as 25 percent in parts of Jiangsu and Anhui Provinces, and as much as 20 percent in parts of Shandong and Henan Provinces. These four provinces accounted for 54 percent of China's total wheat crop in 1997. The primary reasons for the decline are unusually dry weather last fall in northern China and excessive rainfall and cloudiness in central and southern China in late spring. The spring wheat crop, grown primarily in Northeast and Northwest China, is expected to drop slightly in 1998. The weather was generally favorable through most of the growing season, but heavy rainfall during July and August may result in lower yields.

Aug 1 1998 | CHINA: RICE CROP AFFECTED BY FLOODING
China's 1998/99 rice crop is estimated at 138.0 million tons (milled basis), down 2.0 million or 1 percent from last month due to lower area and yield. Area is estimated at 31.3 million hectares, down 0.2 million from last month and 0.5 million from last year. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, early-rice area dropped 4 to 5 percent this year for various reasons, including low prices and weak demand for the crop. The estimated yield of 6.30 tons per hectare is lower than last year's record yield of 6.32 tons per hectare. Excessive rain in June and July caused widespread flooding in parts of central and southern China, creating unfavorable conditions for the early-rice harvest and late-rice transplanting. Water levels in lakes and rivers in the Yangtze River Valley remain very high in August and flooding continues to be a major threat. Plant diseases and pests have reportedly flourished in the hot, humid weather this year and are expected to pose a greater-than-normal problem. Output of early rice (23 percent of total output in 1996) is reported to be lower this year in Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, and Jiangxi Provinces. Late rice (27 percent of total output in 1996) was transplanted in July and is still in the vegetative stage, and it is too early to assess the impact of flooding on the crop. Late-rice yields will largely be determined by the weather in August and September. Single-crop rice (51 percent of total output in 1996) is grown in Northeast China, the North China Plain, Sichuan, and parts of Jiangsu and Hubei outside the flooded areas. The weather for single rice has been generally favorable and high yields are expected.

Oct 1 1998 | CHINA: CORN PRODUCTION HIGHER DUE TO FAVORABLE WEATHER
China is estimated to produce a corn crop of 124.0 million tons during 1998/99, up 2.0 million or 2 percent from last month and up 19 percent from last year's drought-reduced crop. Area is estimated at 24.3 MHa, up 0.5 million from a year ago. The area increase is partly due to farmers shifting from soybeans to corn, which is a more profitable crop. The estimated yield of 5.11 tons per hectare is above the 5-year average, but lower than the 1996/97 record of 5.20 tons per hectare. USDA analysts traveled through Northeast China and the North China Plain in mid-September and reported harvest proceeding smoothly, with farmers expecting a bumper crop. Warm spring temperatures and abundant rainfall created favorable conditions for planting and germination in the North China Plain and Northeast. Early-summer flooding damaged the crop in southern and central areas of China, but these losses were minor and more than offset by projected high yields in Sichuan, the North China Plain, and the Northwest, where the summer weather was nearly ideal. Widespread flooding during August in western Heilongjiang and eastern Inner Mongolia caused localized crop losses, but high yields were expected in other parts of Northeast China where the heavy rainfall benefitted non-irrigated corn.

Dec 1 1998 | CHINA: LATE RICE YIELDS BOOSTED BY GOOD WEATHER
China's rice production for 1998/99 is estimated at 133.0 million tons (milled basis), up 1.0 million or nearly 1 percent from last month, but down 5 percent from last year's record crop. The revision is based on higher estimated yield for the late rice crop, which benefitted from favorably warm and dry weather during grain fill and harvest. Estimated total rice area is unchanged at 31.3 million hectares, but down 0.5 million from last year. The Ministry of Agriculture reported that early-rice area dropped 4 to 5 percent in 1998/99 due to low prices and weak demand. In addition, severe flooding in central China caused some area losses and delayed late-rice transplanting. In contrast, stable area and high yields are expected for China's single-crop rice, which was largely unaffected by severe weather in 1998/99.

Jan 1 1999 | CHINA: COTTON PRODUCTION HIGHER THAN EXPECTED IN 1998/99
China's 1998/99 cotton production is estimated at 19.8 million bales (4.3 million tons), up 5 percent from last month due to a higher estimated yield. In December, the State Statistical Bureau (SSB) estimated China's 1998/99 cotton output at 19.9 million bales, down 6 percent from last year. The SSB estimate was larger than those by the Ministry of Agriculture and other government agencies, which put the crop from18.4 to 19.8 million bales. Production in Xinjiang Province, China's largest cotton producer, reportedly soared to 6.3 million bales in 1998/99, more than 1 million bales higher than its previous record crop in 1997/98. Xinjiang's increased output partially offset serious crop losses in central China caused by excessive rainfall and widespread flooding last summer.

Mar 1 1999 | China: Record Peanut Crop in 1998/99
China's 1998/99 peanut crop is estimated at a record 11.7 million tons, up 1.5 million or 15 percent from last month and up 21 percent from last year's drought-impacted crop. Area is estimated at a record 4.1 million hectares, together with very good weather produced a record estimated yield of 2.85 tons per hectare. The changes reflect the latest estimate by China's State Statistical Bureau. The weather was very favorable in 1998 for peanuts in the major peanut-producing North China Plain Provinces of Shandong, Henan, and Hebei. These provinces account for more than 60 percent of the total crop. Conditions were much better than in 1997, when the peanut crop on the North China Plain was reduced by drought. In Shandong, China's largest peanut producing province, a combination of higher area and excellent yields caused output to rise by an estimated 1 million tons over 1997/98. Very good yields were also expected for Guangdong and Guangxi in southern China, where peanuts are the largest oilseed crop. The Ministry of Agriculture reports that returns on peanuts are slightly better than corn, and a planned reduction in cotton area on the North China Plain may encourage further increases in peanut area in 1999. Peanuts compete directly with cotton, corn, and soybeans on the North China Plain. Although the bumper crop in 1998 led to declining prices for peanuts and peanut products, they remain a popular and profitable alternative to corn and cotton.

Mar 1 1999 | China: SSB Releases Preliminary Estimtes for 1998
On February 28, 1999, the State Statistical Bureau (SSB) released its first official production estimates for selected 1998/99 crops. The report covered total grains, total oilseeds, peanuts, rapeseed and cotton. The SSB reported that China achieved a good harvest despite severe flooding in the Yangtze River Valley and unusually cool and wet weather in early summer, which led to reductions in winter wheat and early rice. These losses were partially offset by a bumper autumn harvest resulting from very favorable autumn weather and the increased use of high-yield crop varieties. The output of grain, cotton and rapeseed declined in 1998, while total oilseeds, and peanuts increased. The SSB will release a revised report on 1998/99 area and production in a few months. The final official estimates will be published in late summer.

Jan 1 2000 | CHINA: REVISED YIELD ESTIMATES RESULT IN COTTON PRODUCTION PLUNGE
Chinas 1999/2000 cotton production is estimated at 17.6 million bales (3.83 million tons), down 1.4 million or 7 percent from last month and down 15 percent from last year. The reduction is based in part on information from official Chinese government sources. Estimated yield, at 982 kilograms per hectare, is above the 5-year average but lower than the last two years. A recent production outlook survey indicated that yields were affected by late planting and flooding in southern cotton areas, drought in northern China, and wind damage in Xinjiang. Based on the revised cotton estimate, cottonseed production was lowered this month to 6.9 million tons. Area is estimated at a record-low 3.9 million hectares, down 13 percent from a year ago. Farmers reduced cotton area in 1999/2000 in response to low procurement prices and government policies intended to reduce excess cotton stocks. The largest area declines were in the Yangtze River valley, especially in Jiangsu, Hubei, and Anhui provinces. Planted area was stable in Xinjiang, which now accounts for more than a third of Chinas cotton output.

May 1 2000 | China: Wheat and Corn Production Lower Due to Area Decline
Chinas corn production for 2000/01 is forecast at 125.0 million tons, down 3.0 million or 2 percent from last years near-record crop. Area is estimated at 25.0 million hectares, down 0.8 million or 3 percent from a year ago. The largest area reduction is occurring in the Northeast, where lower prices and government policies have encouraged farmers to switch from corn to soybeans this year. The planting season for early corn in southern China started in March, but the majority of the crop will be planted in northern China during May and June. Moisture and temperature conditions in the Northeast are favorable for planting, and recent rainfall has eased dry conditions on the North China Plain, which has been very dry this spring. Yield is forecast at 5.00 tons per hectare, slightly higher than the 1999/2000 crop. Chinas 2000/01 wheat crop is forecast to drop by 7 percent to 107.0 million tons due to a large reduction in planted area and lower yield. Wheat area is projected to decline by 5 percent to 27.5 million hectares, the lowest level since 1974, in response to low prices and government policies to discourage the planting of low-quality winter wheat in southern provinces and spring wheat in the north. The largest area reductions occurred in the provinces near the Yangtze River, where farmers switched primarily to winter rapeseed. Yield is estimated at 3.89 tons per hectare, down 2 percent from last years large crop, but higher than the 5-year average. Planting conditions in Fall 1999 for the 2000/01 winter wheat crop were mostly favorable, with near-normal rainfall and warm temperatures. The crop entered dormancy in good condition. Although the winter was unseasonably cold, especially in late January, there were no reports of winterkill. The weather was mild in February, but the North China Plain became increasingly dry from mid-March through early May. Soil moisture levels dropped steadily and non-irrigated crops were stressed, especially in southern and western wheat areas. Recent showers have improved moisture conditions slightly on the North China Plain, but more rain is needed through May. Spring wheat planting is underway and weather conditions are normal.

Jun 1 2000 | China: Lower Wheat Yields Expected
Chinas wheat production estimate for 2000/01 is 104.0 million tons, down 3.0 million from last month, due to lower forecast winter wheat yields. Unfavorably warm and dry weather during the peak growth period is expected to reduce estimated yields to 3.78 tons per hectare, slightly below the 5-year average but higher than the yields in 1996/97 and 1998/99. Soil moisture levels dropped sharply across northern China from March through May and water for irrigation was in short supply. Satellite imagery indicates that non-irrigated crops suffered from stress, especially in southern and western wheat-growing provinces. Light showers in mid-May improved moisture conditions in northern China for wheat in the heading and filling stages, but the rain likely came too late to aid the crop in southern areas where it was near maturity. Since June 1, more than 6 inches of rain have fallen over most of Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Hubei and eastern Sichuan, areas where harvesting was already underway. The rain quickly saturated the soils and caused local flooding. Although the rain was needed for summer crop germination, it may have caused wheat harvest delays and quality problems. More rain is forecast in these provinces and farther north in Shandong and the Northeast in the next few days.

Jul 1 2000 | China: Cotton Production Nearly Flat From Last Year as High Price Hold Area
Chinas 2000/01 cotton output is estimated at 17.5 million bales (3.81 million tons), down 0.1 million or less than 1 percent from the 1999/2000 crop. Area is estimated at 3.75 million hectares, up slightly from last years record-low area. The estimated yield of 1016 KG/Ha is above the 5-year average but lower than last years record yield due to unfavorably dry weather in many cotton-producing provinces. Cotton area dropped significantly in 1999/2000 in response to low procurement prices and government policies intended to reduce excess cotton stocks. Area was expected to drop in 2000/01 for the same reasons, and planting intentions were initially as low as 3.3 to 3.4 million hectares. However, rising cotton prices in Spring 2000 and increased consumption in recent months led farmers to plant more cotton than anticipated. The latest area survey by the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that spring-sown cotton area increased by about 60,000 hectares from a year ago. The Ministry of Agriculture and local officials also reported that cotton area would be similar to last year. Growing conditions for the 2000/01 cotton crop have been mixed. In Xinjiang, where about 1/3 of Chinas cotton is produced, the weather has been better than last year. The Post reported that farmers are having minor problems with insects, but the impact on yields is not expected to be serious. On the North China Plain, drought conditions in May and June stressed spring-sown cotton and delayed summer cotton planting, but heavy rain since July 1 has reduced the moisture deficit and improved yield prospects. Central China has adequate to excessive moisture for cotton development.

Jul 1 2000 | China: 2000/01 Soybean Output Up 11 Percent From Last Year
Chinas 2000/01 soybean output is estimated at 15.8 million tons, up 1.5 million or 11 percent from last year. Soybean area is estimated at 9.3 million hectares, up 14 percent from last year. The area increase in 2000/01 was in response to higher prices, strong domestic demand for soybean products, and government policies that encouraged soybean production. The largest increases were in the Northeast, where about 500,000 hectares were reportedly switched from corn to soybeans this year. A reduction in spring wheat area also opened up land for soybean expansion. Soybean area was also reported higher in other provinces in northern and central China. Estimated yield of 1.7 tons per hectare is lower than the 5-year average due to drought in the Northeast. The weather for planting was favorable in the Northeast (45 percent of total soybean area), but persistent hot and dry weather since May has stressed vegetative corn and soybeans. Recent showers provided only limited relief, and more rain is needed to support the mostly rain-fed crop. On the North China Plain (20 - 25 percent), drought in May and June stressed spring-sown crops and delayed summer crop planting, but heavy rain since July 1 has reduced the moisture deficit and improved yield prospects. Central China (15 percent) has adequate to excessive moisture for soybean development. In the 1980's, soybeans were the major crop in the Northeast, with area and production reaching their peak in the early 1990's. Excessive stocks and falling prices led to a lower planted area in 1999/2000 and a major expansion of corn area in the Northeast. Soybean prices started to rebound in 2000, and the government offered incentives to crushers to use more soybeans and boost demand. Provincial grain bureaus have auctioned off excess soybean stocks to meet the rising demand and free-up storage space for the new crop. A Chinese Government proposal to lower the Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported soybean meal as of June 15 was postponed due to objections from producers and crushers who feared their profits would decrease.

Jul 1 2000 | China: Lower Area Cuts 2000/01 Corn Crop
Chinas corn production for 2000/01 is estimated at 122.0 million tons, down 3.0 million or 2 percent from last month and down 5 percent from last year due to lower expected area and yield. Corn area is estimated at 24.5 million hectares, down 0.5 million from last month. The revised corn yield of 4.98 MT/Ha is close to the 5-year average and sightly higher than last year. Unfavorably hot and dry weather stressed the corn crop in the Northeast and the North China Plain last month, but the critical period for yields is July and August. Corn area declined in 2000/01 in response to high stock levels, low market and procurement prices, and local government policies that encouraged soybean production. The largest reductions were in the Northeast, where nearly 500,000 hectares were reportedly switched from corn to soybeans. Corn area was also reported lower in the North China Plain, with area shifting to oilseeds or cash crops. These losses were partially offset by increased early corn area in southern and central China, where it was planted as an alternative to early rice and wheat. The weather for planting was favorable in the Northeast (30 percent of total corn area), but persistent hot and dry weather since May has stressed vegetative corn and soybeans. Recent showers provided only limited relief, and more rain is needed support the mostly rain-fed crops. On the North China Plain (30 percent of total corn area), drought in May and June stressed spring-sown crops and delayed summer crop planting, but heavy rain since July 1 has reduced the moisture deficit and improved yield prospects. Southern and western China (21 percent of total corn area) have been generally wetter than normal since June 1.

Aug 1 2000 | China: Rice Area Declines in 2000/01
China rice production for 2000/01 is estimated slightly lower this month at 136.5 million tons (milled basis) due to lower area. Total rice area is estimated at 30.3 million hectares, down 3 percent from last year. The Chinese Government announced that early rice area for 2000/01 dropped by more than 0.9 million hectares in response to lower prices and government polices designed to reduce the output of low-quality crops such as early rice and spring wheat. Late rice and single-crop rice area may also drop this year due to shifting crop patterns and drought in northern China during the planting season. The weather in the major rice-growing regions was generally favorable this summer, with adequate rainfall, warm temperatures and limited flood damage. A record yield of 4.5 tons/hectare is forecast for the 2000/01 crop.

Aug 1 2000 | China: Drought Affects Corn and Soybeans
China corn production for 2000/01 is estimated at 115.0 million tons, down 7 million from last month and down 13 million or 10 percent from last years bumper crop. Area is estimated at 24.5 million hectares, down 1.4 million from a year ago, as farmers responded to low market and procurement prices by reducing planted area. The largest area reductions were in the Northeast and the North China Plain, which together account for about 60 percent of Chinas total corn area. These losses were partially offset by increased area in southern and central China, where corn was planted as an alternative to early rice and wheat. The crop was seriously affected by drought in several key production provinces this summer, although recent widespread rainfall has improved yield prospects. The estimated yield of 4.69 tons/hectare is down 5 percent from last year and the lowest since the drought-impacted crop of 1997/98. Chinas 2000/01 soybean crop is estimated at 15.0 million tons, down 0.8 million or 5 percent from last month, but up 5 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 9.3 million hectares, up more than 13 percent from 1999/00 due to higher prices, strong domestic demand for soybean products, and local government policies that encouraged soybean production. In the main soybean-growing region of the Northeast, at least 500,000 hectares were reportedly switched from corn to soybeans this year. Summer drought in the Northeast (45 percent of total soybean area) and parts of the North China Plain (20 - 25 percent) had a serious impact on yield. Estimated yield for the 2000/01 crop is 1.61 tons/hectare, down 8 percent from last year and well below the 5-year average.

Oct 1 2000 | China: Corn Production Down Due to Lower Area and Yield
Chinas 2000/01 corn output is estimated at 105.0 million tons, down 10.0 million or 9 percent from last month and down 18 percent from last year due to lower area and yield. Estimated area was reduced by 2 percent this month to 24.0 million hectares based on updated area information from official sources. The revised yield of 4.38 MT/Ha reflects larger-than-expected crop losses in the Northeast and North China Plain. Recent field travel by FAS personnel in the Northeast and North China Plain revealed widespread and significant yield reductions. Persistent hot and dry weather, especially in early July, affected corn in the critical pollination or tasseling stage. Corn borers were also a major problem, especially in Jilin province. Moderate rainfall in late July and August improved crop conditions in some areas, but the weather remained drier than normal through the summer in Liaoning and parts of Jilin, Hebei and Shandong. In contrast, there was excessive rainfall and local flooding in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces this summer. Growing conditions were mostly favorable in other corn-growing regions, although parts of the southwest and Yangtze River valley experienced periods of drought. Harvest weather has been favorably warm and dry in the Northeast, but unseasonably wet weather likely hurt crop quality and harvest progress in Henan and the southern part of the North China Plain.

Dec 1 2000 | China: Record Peanut Crop in 2000/01
Chinas peanut production for 2000/01 is estimated at a record 13.0 million tons, up 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and up 3 percent from last year. Area is estimated at a record 4.5 million hectares, and yield is revised slightly upward this month to 2.89 tons per hectare, close to the 5-year average. The revision is based on information from the Ministry of Agriculture, which recently reported that Chinas oilseed crop (peanuts, rapeseed, sesame, and minor oilseeds) reached 28.2 million tons in 2000, up 1.2 million or 8 percent from last year. Historically, peanuts comprise 45 to 50 percent of Chinas total oilseed crop. The weather during the 2000/01 growing season was mixed. The crop on the North China Plain was affected by drought in May and June, but favorable rainfall from July onward boosted yield prospects. Meanwhile, above-normal rainfall in central and southern China this summer may have caused some harvesting and quality problems.

Dec 1 2000 | China: Soybean Production Rises on Higher Area and Yields
Chinas soybean production for 2000/01 is estimated at 15.4 million tons, up 0.4 million or 3 percent from last month and up 8 percent from last year. The revision is based on information released by the Chinese government and trade sources which indicate slightly higher yields than initially forecast. Harvested area in 2000/01 increased by 14 percent to an estimated 9.3 million hectares in response to high soymeal demand and low prices for competing crops. However, Chinas soybean crop was adversely affected by unusually dry weather in the Northeast and irregular rainfall in several important soybean producing provinces in the North China Plain. Estimated yield for 2000/01 is 1.66 tons per hectare, below the 5-year average and the lowest yield since 1995.

Jan 1 2001 | China: Cotton Area and Yield Raised
Chinas 2000/01 cotton output is estimated at 20.0 million bales (4.35 million tons), up 11 percent from last month and 14 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 4.0 million hectares, up 7 percent from last years record-low area. Before the crop season started, planted area was expected to decline for a second consecutive year in response to government efforts to reduce surplus cotton stocks. However, rising prices in the spring and summer encouraged farmers to switch from grain to cotton, and planted area expanded instead. Cotton area in Shandong province, the second-largest cotton producer, reportedly rose by about 50 percent in 2000/01. Cotton area also increased in several other provinces this year. A record yield of 1089 Kg/Ha is forecast for the 2000/01 crop, due in part to the increasing use of improved cotton varieties. Growing conditions were mixed. A serious drought stressed spring-sown cotton and delayed summer cotton planting on the North China Plain, but heavy rain in July improved growing conditions. Central China had adequate moisture for planting and mostly favorable weather during the summer for crop development. Harvest conditions on the North China Plain were fair, but heavy autumn rains may have affected yield and crop quality in parts of Henan and central China. Good weather was reported in the western province of Xinjiang, which accounts for about one-third of Chinas cotton crop.

Jan 1 2001 | China: Rice Area and Production Drops in 2000/01
Chinas rice production for 2000/01 is estimated at 133.0 million tons (190.0 million rough basis), down 3.5 million or 3 percent from last month and 4 percent from last year. Estimated area of 30.0 million hectares is 1 percent from last month, down 4 percent from last year, and the lowest area since 1968. Rice area has been declining in recent years in response to plentiful supplies, poor demand for low quality rice varieties, and removal of protection prices for low quality early rice. The largest reductions have been to the early and late rice crops in the Yangtze River Basin and southern China. Area and production of single crop rice, grown in northern China, Sichuan, western China, and parts of central China, is estimated to be down slightly from last year. Dryness caused some planting delays and germination problems in northern China, and excessive rainfall and typhoons led to local flooding in central and southern China, but in general the weather was favorable for rice this year. Estimated yield in 2000/01 is 6.33 tons per hectare, nearly equal to the record yield of 6.37 tons per hectare from 1998/99.

May 1 2001 | China: Peanut Crop Higher Than Expected
The estimate for Chinas 2000/01 peanut crop was increased this month to a record 13.5 million tons, up 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and up 7 percent from last year due to higher estimated yield. The revision is based on official Chinese government statistics which indicate that oilseed production in 2000/01 was significantly higher than previously announced. Production was especially good in Shandong Province, which accounts for about 25 percent of Chinas total peanut crop. Estimated area reached a record 4.5 million hectares in 2000/01 and, according to the U.S. Agricultural Counselor in Beijing, is expected to increase again in 2001/02. The domestic demand for peanuts is steady and prices are relatively good compared to alternative crops.

May 1 2001 | China: Wheat Production Higher
Chinas 2001/02 wheat crop is estimated at 104.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 2 percent from 2000/01 due to higher forecast yields. Estimated area for 2001/02 dropped 4 percent to 26.0 million hectares, continuing a 4-year downward trend. Assuming normal weather, Chinas 2001/02 wheat yield is expected to reach 4.0 MT/Ha, up 6 percent from last years drought-reduced crop. The area reduction is attributed mainly to low prices and government policies that discouraged the planting of low-quality winter wheat in southern provinces and spring wheat in the north. Winter rapeseed has replaced winter wheat in many parts of central China, while spring wheat area in the Northeast is either being abandoned or replaced by more profitable crops. Timely rainfall in late April boosted crop prospects, but more rain is needed in May to ensure good yields. In 2000/01, drought in May had a serious negative impact on yields.

May 1 2001 | China: Higher Corn Production Expected
Chinas 2001/02 corn production is forecast to reach 125.0 million tons, up 20.0 million or 19 percent from last years drought-reduced crop. Assuming normal weather during the growing season, yields are projected to be 5.1 MT/Ha, higher than the 5-year average but lower than the record of 5.27 MT/Ha set in1998/99. Area is estimated at 24.5 million hectares, up 2 percent from a year ago. Despite predictions from the Chinese government that corn area would drop slightly in 2001/02, high domestic prices for corn relative to other crops are anticipated to boost corn area above 2000/01 levels. Planting conditions for corn have been less than ideal on the North China Plain and southern Manchuria, where unusually dry, warm and windy weather may have delayed early corn sowing and germination. Recent rainfall has improved conditions in these areas. Spring weather in Heilongjiang and most of central and southern China has been generally favorable for corn planting and development, with adequate rainfall and seasonable temperatures.

Jun 1 2001 | China: Peanut, Rapeseed, and Cotton Production Higher Than Expected
Chinas peanut, rapeseed, and cotton production estimates for 2000/01 were increased significantly this month based on the latest data from Chinas National Bureau of Statistics. Peanut production for 2000/01 is estimated at a record 14.4 million tons, up 0.9 million or 7 percent from last month and up 14 percent from the previous years bumper crop. Both area and yield reached record levels last year despite dry conditions on the North China Plain during the growing season. Chinas 2000/01 rapeseed production estimate was raised to 11.4 million tons, up 3 percent from last month and up 12 percent from 1999/2000 due to record area and very high yields. Farmers in central China and Sichuan have been shifting from winter wheat and early rice into rapeseed , which is more profitable and well suited to the climate. Cotton production for 2000/01 is estimated at 4.4 million tons (20.3 million bales), up 2 percent from last month and up 15 percent from the previous year due to record yield. Planted area increased slightly in 2000/01 to 4.0 million hectares but remained well below average. Production has been gradually shifting from eastern China to the western province of Xinjiang, which now accounts for more than 30 percent of Chinas total cotton crop.

Jun 1 2001 | China: Drought Drives Corn Yield Potential Down
Chinas 2001/02 corn output is projected at 115.0 million tons, down 10.0 million or 8 percent from last month, but up 8 percent from last years poor crop. Dry and hot weather from April through early June had a negative impact on corn planting, germination, and emergence in Northern China. The forecast yield of 4.69 tons per hectare is lower than the 5-year average but higher than the drought-impacted crops of 2000/01 and 1997/98. Forecast area is unchanged this month at 24.5 million hectares. Planting conditions were less than ideal on the North China Plain and southern Manchuria, which experienced one of the hottest and driest springs in decades. Soil moisture was depleted, and corn planting and germination was reportedly delayed by several weeks due to a lack of rainfall. Serious losses of emerging crops were reported in Liaoning and Jilin provinces. Growing conditions to date have been more favorable in Heilongjiang and most of central and southern China, where rainfall this spring was closer to normal. Although the crop has experienced stress in the early part of the growing season, yield prospects could at least stabilize if China receives seasonable rainfall from mid-June through August.

Jun 1 2001 | China: Wheat Yields Hurt By Drought
The production forecast for 2001/02 wheat in China was lowered to 96.0 million tons, down 8 million or 8 percent from last month and down 4 percent from last years downward-revised crop. The projected yield of 3.76 tons per hectare is lower than the 5-year average and reflects the impact of an extensive drought in Northern China this spring. Estimated area is 25.5 million hectares, down 0.5 million this month and 6 percent below last year. Wheat area in China has dropped for 4 consecutive years and is now at the lowest level in more than 20 years. Conditions were favorable for most of the growing season. Planting conditions last fall were favorable and winter precipitation was above normal. Also, scattered showers and mild temperatures in early spring benefitted the emerging winter wheat crop. Warm and dry weather in March and April depleted surface soil moisture, but subsurface moisture was adequate for normal development. Timely rainfall in late April boosted winter wheat yield prospects, and planting conditions for spring wheat in the Northeast were fair to good. However, growing conditions deteriorated sharply in May, when the worst drought in 20 years developed across northern China, stressing filling/maturing winter wheat and emerging spring wheat. The winter wheat harvest started in late-May in the southern plains and is progressing rapidly. Continued dry weather at this stage would assist harvesting and limit post-season crop losses.

Jul 1 2001 | China: Cotton Area and Production Forecast to Rise
Chinas cotton production in 2001/02 is forecast to reach 22.0 million bales (4.8 million tons), up 1.7 million bales or 8 percent from last year due to higher expected area. According to an official Chinese government planting survey, cotton area increased by 15 percent to an estimated 4.6 million hectares, the largest area in 5 years. High cotton prices for the 2000/01 crop encouraged farmers to expand cotton area in 2001/02, especially in the North China Plain where area had declined in recent years. The forecast yield of 1041 kilograms per hectare is lower than last year but higher than the 5-year average. Drought conditions from April through early-June caused planting delays and germination/emergence problems in some parts of the North China Plain, particularly in Henan province. Since mid-June, scattered showers have increased moisture supplies and improved crop prospects. The weather remains mostly dry and hot across parts of Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Shandong, putting additional stress on emerging cotton in these provinces. The crop in central China has benefitted from near-normal rainfall this season, and there have been no weather problems reported in Xinjiang province, where more than 30 percent of Chinas cotton is grown.

Jul 1 2001 | China: Lower Soybean Area and Production
Chinas 2001/02 soybean crop is estimated at 15.0 million tons, down 0.4 million or 3 percent from last year, due to lower planted area. High domestic corn prices encouraged farmers to switch from soybeans to corn, especially in Heilongjiang, Chinas largest soybean province. The projected yield of 1.72 tons per hectare is below the 5-year average but higher than last years drought-impacted crop. Planting conditions for early-sown soybeans were less than ideal. Pre-season soil moisture was adequate, but unusually warm and dry weather in April and May caused germination delays and poor crop development in parts of the Northeast and North China Plain (NCP). The drought also may have hindered the planting and germination of late soybeans on the NCP, which were sown in June after the winter wheat harvest. The crop situation has improved since mid-June, when widespread rainfall and near-normal temperatures brought significant drought relief to eastern North China Plain and southern parts of the Northeast. However, more rain is needed to reduce moisture deficits and boost yield prospects in central Heilongjiang and the southern plains, where conditions are still unfavorably dry. Soybeans in central and southern China are developing normally.

Aug 1 2001 | China: 2001/02 Corn Area and Production Revised Downward
Chinas 2001/02 corn output is estimated at 105.0 million tons, down 10.0 million or 9 percent from last month and down 1 percent from last years poor crop. While the National Bureau of Statistics has not released an official corn area for 2000, other government sources indicate that previous USDA area estimates were too high. Chinas corn area for 2001/02 was lowered to 23.5 million hectares, down 1.0 million from last month, but up 0.4 million from last years revised area. On a year-to-year basis, corn area reportedly increased in the Northeast, as farmers switched to corn from soybeans, but it remained steady on the North China Plain (NCP). The estimated yield of 4.47 tons per hectare is lower than the 5-year average and last year, but higher than the drought-reduced crop of 1997/98. Hot and dry conditions on the NCP and in the Northeast delayed planting and germination by several weeks in some areas. Many fields in the Northeast were replanted with soybeans or other grains, and some corn area on the NCP was shifted to cotton this year. Because of late planting and development delays in the Northeast, it likely that some corn will not reach maturity before the first frost. Widespread heavy rainfall in July and early August increased moisture levels and improved crop prospects over most of northern and eastern China, but dryness remains a problem in the Yangtze Valley, parts of the southern plains, and western Manchuria. The corn crop is now in the flowering/filling stage.

Aug 1 2001 | China: 2001/02 Wheat Area and Production Lower than Last Year
Chinas 2001/02 wheat production is estimated at 94.0 million tons, down 2.0 million or 2 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 3.73 tons per hectare is lower than the 5-year average and similar to last years drought-reduced yield. Estimated area was reduced by 1 percent this month, to 25.2 million hectares, based on preliminary government area statistics for summer-harvested grain. Historically, winter wheat accounts for 85 to 87 percent of Chinas summer-harvested grain production and area. Last month the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that summer-harvested grain production dropped to 101.9 million tons in 2001/02, down 4.9 million from last year, and planted area declined to 28.3 million hectares, down 1.3 million from a year ago. The weather was less than ideal this year for winter wheat. Scattered showers and mild temperatures in February benefitted the emerging crop, but drought in March and April depleted soil moisture on the North China Plain, the main production area. Timely rainfall in late April boosted yield prospects, but renewed heat and dryness in May stressed the crop in the grain-fill to maturing stage. Dry June weather favored winter wheat harvesting. Planting conditions for spring wheat in the Northeast were fair to good, but unfavorably dry weather in May and June lowered yield potential. Near-normal rainfall in July improved growing conditions for the crop, which is now maturing.

Sep 1 2001 | China: Prospects of High Yields Boost Cotton Crop
Generally favorable weather in August improved yield prospects for Chinas 2001/02 cotton crop. Production is currently estimated at 23.0 million bales, up 0.5 million or 2 percent from last month and up 13 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 1,043 kilograms per hectare is above average, and second only to last years record yield. Planted area is estimated at 4.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 20 percent from a year ago and the highest since 1995. High domestic cotton prices in the 2000/01 season encouraged farmers to expand cotton area for 2001/02, especially on the North China Plain, where persistent bollworm infestations had depressed plantings in the 1990's. Unusually dry weather in May and June reportedly delayed planting and emergence on the North China Plain, but widespread rainfall in July and August boosted moisture supplies for cotton development. Central China was unusually dry this summer, but the impact on cotton was not expected to be serious. Conditions in southern Xinjiang, Chinas largest cotton producer, were favorable, more than offsetting the potential impact of cool and wet weather in northern Xinjiang.

Sep 1 2001 | China: Lowest Rice Crop in Seven Years Forecast
Chinas 2001/02 rice production is estimated at 128.1 million tons (183.0 million rough basis), down 2.1 million or nearly 2 percent from last month and down 3 percent from last year. This is the smallest rice crop in China since 1994/95. Estimated area for 2001/02 is 29.2 million hectares, down 3 percent from last year and the lowest area on record. Relatively low prices and diminished government support for rice production have discouraged planting in recent years. The estimated yield of 6.27 tons per hectare is similar to last year and slightly below the 5-year average. Additionally, weather this season has been less than ideal. Drought delayed planting and germination in northern China, and rice in parts of central China and Sichuan were affected by drought this summer. Excessive rainfall along the coast of southern China may have also caused lower yields.

Nov 1 2001 | China: Cotton Production Forecast up on Near-Record Yield
Chinas 2001/02 cotton production is estimated at 23.5 million bales (5.12 million tons), up 0.5 million or 2 percent from last month due to higher estimated yield. Favorably dry harvest weather raised yield prospects to 1066 kilograms per hectare, second only to last years record yield. Estimated cotton area for 2001/02 is 4.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 20 percent from last year in response to strong prices and higher profits compared to grains or oilseeds. Average to above-average cotton yields are expected in all areas of the country despite less-than-ideal summer weather, including an extended drought in eastern China and uncharacteristically cool and wet weather in northern Xinjiang. Although the drought reportedly hindered cotton planting/development and reduced the availability of water for irrigation, widespread rainfall in July and August provided adequate moisture at the most critical time. Mostly dry and warmer-than-normal weather in September and October created nearly ideal conditions for cotton maturing and harvesting across eastern China. According to local officials, cotton quality is better than last year, harvest progress is ahead of schedule, and procurement is going well.

Jan 1 2002 | China: Bumper Cotton Crop is Estimated
Chinas 2001/02 cotton crop is estimated at 24.4 million bales (5.31 million tons), up 0.9 million or 4 percent from last month and up 20 percent from last year. The 2001/02 crop is the largest since 1991/92 (26.1 million bales) and the third-largest crop on record. This estimate reflects preliminary provincial harvest reports and is consistent with data recently released by Chinas National Bureau of Statistics. Planted area is estimated at 4.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 20 percent from last year and the highest since 1995/96. High domestic cotton prices in 2000 encouraged farmers to expand planted area for 2001/02, especially on the North China Plain. Area is expected to decline for 2002/03 in response to lower procurement prices in 2001 and WTO limits on export subsidies. Timely summer rainfall and nearly ideal harvesting conditions helped China achieve a yield of 1107 kilograms per hectare in 2001/02, up slightly from last years record yield. Yields have been increasing steadily since 1992/93 for several reasons, including the expanded use of BT cotton on the North China Plain, better crop management, and the concentration of planted area in Xinjiang Province, where yields are higher than the national average.

Mar 1 2002 | China: Higher Corn Production Estimate for 2001/02
Chinas 2001/02 corn crop is estimated at 110.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 2 percent from last month and up 4 percent from last year. The revision is based on preliminary harvest results from Chinese government sources which indicate better-than-expected yields, particularly in the Northeast. The estimated corn area for 2001/02 is 23.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 2 percent from last year, as farmers reportedly switched from soybeans and wheat to corn in response to high corn prices. Estimated 2001/02 corn yield of 4.68 tons per hectare is slightly higher than last year, but lower than the 5-year average. Crop damage from a severe spring drought was partially offset by timely late-summer rainfall and favorable harvesting weather.

May 1 2002 | China: Wheat Prospects Boosted by Good Weather
Chinas 2002/03 wheat crop is forecast at 96.0 million tons (winter wheat - 89.0 million, spring wheat 7.0 million), up 2 million or 2 percent from last year. Favorable spring rainfall and mild temperatures are expected to boost 2002/03 yield to 3.84 tons per hectare, higher than last years drought-reduced crop and close to the 5-year average. Wheat area is estimated at 25.0 million hectares, down slightly from last year, based on data from an area survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Winter wheat area has been dropping for several years due to lower support prices, higher irrigation costs, and more favorable returns from other crops. Spring wheat area is also expected to drop in 2002/03 due to low prices and poor demand. The weather was dry in fall 2001 for winter wheat planting, but widespread precipitation in December provided adequate moisture for the dormant crop. The weather was unusually warm and dry from January through March, and the crop came out of dormancy several weeks earlier than normal. Timely and abundant rainfall, since April 1, has relieved dry conditions on most of the North China Plain. Satellite imagery has indicated that the crop appears to be growing well. Yield potentials could increase given continued favorable weather in May. In the Yangtze River Basin, a minor wheat-growing region, excessive spring rainfall may have hurt crop quality or caused yield losses. Heavy showers in April provided abundant moisture for spring wheat planting in the Northeast and Inner Mongolia, and temperatures are favorably warm for germination and growth.

May 1 2002 | China: Corn Area and Yield Expected to Increase
Chinas 2002/03 corn production forecast is 120.0 million tons, up 10 million or 9 percent from last year. The estimated area of 24.0 million hectares is up 0.5 million or 2 percent from last year and is based on a planting intentions survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The forecast yield of 5.0 tons per hectare is slightly above the 5-year average and assumes normal weather in 2002. Planting started in Northeast China in April and will continue through mid-May. The fall and winter of 2001/02 were much drier than normal in the Northeast, particularly Jilin, Chinas most important corn-producing province. Soil moisture dropped to very low levels and there were concerns in March that drought could be a major problem for the summer crop season in 2002/03. However, above-normal rainfall since April 1 in the Northeast has provided abundant surface soil moisture for planting, and sub-surface moisture reserves are slowly increasing. Heavy rain in late-April may have caused minor planting delays, and local flooding could occur if above-normal rainfall continues through May. On the North China Plain, the main (summer) corn crop will be planted in June following the winter wheat harvest. Rainfall has been close to normal for the month of April, and moisture conditions are currently favorable for planting. Growing conditions are also mostly favorable in Sichuan and Southwest China.

Jun 1 2002 | China: Wheat Crop Lower Due to Unfavorable Weather
A combination of drought in the north and excessive rainfall in the south had a negative affect on Chinas 2002/03 wheat crop. Production is estimated at 94.0 million tons, down 2 million or 2 percent last month and equal to last years drought-affected crop. China will produce about 87.0 million tons of winter wheat and 7.0 million tons of spring wheat. The estimated yield of 3.76 tons per hectare is below the 5-year average and down 8 percent from the record yield of 4.1 tons per hectare set in 1997/98. The estimated area of 25.0 million hectares is down slightly from last year, based on official National Bureau of Statistics planting intentions. The winter wheat crop was in generally good condition in April as it approached the heading stage. Early spring drought depleted soil moisture and stressed the crop in the northern part of the North China Plain, but moisture conditions in the southern plains and Yangtze Basin were more favorable. Unusually cool and wet weather dominated eastern China from mid-April through mid-May and caused development delays, pest and disease outbreaks, and quality problems, especially in the Yangtze River Basin and southern plains. In the Yellow River Basin, the May rainfall provided beneficial moisture for the reproducing/filling winter wheat crop but was not enough to erase the drought. Very hot (90 - 101 F.) and dry weather returned to eastern China after May 15. The drier weather favored wheat maturing/harvesting in southern areas but stressed immature wheat in the north. The harvest is now in full swing and will be completed by the end of June. Spring wheat accounts for about 9-10 percent of total wheat production. Planting and germination benefited from timely rain, but conditions have become unfavorably dry in parts of the Northeast, and more rain is needed to support normal development.

Jul 1 1999 | CHINA: CORN PRODUCTION FORECAST AT A RECORD LEVEL
China's corn production for 1999/2000 is estimated at a record 132.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 2 percent from last month and up 6 percent from last year. Area is estimated slightly higher this month at 25.3 million hectares based on an upward revision of last year's area, while yield is virtually unchanged from last month at 5.22 tons per hectare. Chinese officials reported that area is expected to decline slightly in the Northeast and northern China because low prices have reduced farmers' profits and "dampened enthusiasm" for corn production. However, corn area may increase in southern provinces as farmers shift from early rice to corn in response to government policies that encourage the production of higher-quality grain. Rainfall and temperatures have been mostly favorable for early corn in southern China, but recent heavy rain in central China may have caused some flood losses. The weather has been generally favorable for vegetative corn in the Northeast and northern China, although dry conditions have stressed the crop in the northern and western parts of the North China Plain.

Aug 1 1999 | CHINA: CORN PRODUCTION DOWN DUE TO UNFAVORABLE WEATHER
Chinas 1999/2000 corn crop is reduced this month to 125.0 million tons, down 3.0 million or 2 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last years revised crop. Area is lowered slightly to 25.1 million hectares and yield is projected down to 4.98 tons per hectare due to unfavorable weather in several corn-growing provinces during August. Southern and southwest China had excessive rainfall and cloudiness, and local flooding is reported in the lower Yangtze River valley. Dry weather continued to affect corn in parts of the North China Plain and Liaoning Province during the month. However, crop conditions were very good in Heilongjiang and Jilin, and moderate rainfall in mid-August brought drought relief to Shandong, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces in northern China. The estimate for the 1998/99 corn crop was revised upward to a record 133 million tons.

Sep 1 1999 | CHINA: CORN PRODUCTION DOWN DUE TO UNFAVORABLE WEATHER
Chinas 1999/2000 corn crop is reduced this month to 125.0 million tons, down 3.0 million or 2 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last years revised crop. Area is lowered slightly to 25.1 million hectares and yield is projected down to 4.98 tons per hectare due to unfavorable weather in several corn-growing provinces during August. Southern and southwest China had excessive rainfall and cloudiness, and local flooding is reported in the lower Yangtze River valley. Dry weather continued to affect corn in parts of the North China Plain and Liaoning Province during the month. However, crop conditions were very good in Heilongjiang and Jilin, and moderate rainfall in mid-August brought drought relief to Shandong, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces in northern China. The estimate for the 1998/99 corn crop was revised upward to a record 133 million tons.

Oct 1 1999 | CHINA: COTTON AREA DROPS TO RECORD LOW LEVEL
Chinas 1999/2000 cotton area is estimated at a record-low 3.9 million hectares, down 600,000 hectares from last year. The Chinese government has been trying for several years to encourage farmers to reduce cotton area through lower support prices and other polices, as a way to cut cotton production and reduce the financial burden of excessive stocks. Production in 1999/2000 is expected to reach 19.0 million bales (4.14 million tons), down 8 percent from last year and the lowest since 1993/94. Yields are forecast at a record 1061 kilograms per hectare, the result of favorable weather, the use of improved cotton varieties, and the elimination of marginal cotton fields. Southern and central cotton-growing provinces were wetter than normal, but flooding was minor compared to last year and mostly dry weather in August benefitted boll development. The North China Plain experienced periods of drought this summer, but increased rainfall in August improved moisture levels. Conditions were normal in Xinjiang Province, where about 30 percent of Chinas cotton is grown.

Oct 1 1999 | CHINA: GOOD SOYBEAN OUTPUT FORECAST
Chinas soybean production for 1999/2000 is estimated at 14.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 8 percent from last month, but down 1 million from last years revised output of 15.0 million tons. Estimated soybean area was increased to 7.8 million hectares, up 300,000 hectares from last month, based on information from government and trade sources. Estimated yield, at 1.79 tons per hectare, is above the 5-year average but below last years record yield. Summer drought stressed the soybean crop in parts of the Northeast and North China Plain, and some areas of central and southern China were unfavorably wet. Chinese Government sources have unofficially announced that 1998/99 soybean output may have been much larger than previously expected. Previous indications put the crop at around 13.8 million tons, but the latest estimates range from 15.0 to 15.8 million. The main reason for the increase was higher reported yields, which were achieved despite serious flooding in central China and parts of the Northeast last summer, but another reason may be a smaller-than-anticipated reduction in planted area. Final area and production estimates for the 1998/99 soybean crop may be available soon.

Oct 1 1999 | CHINA: CORN AREA AND PRODUCTION RISE
Chinas 1999/2000 corn production is estimated at 128.0 million tons, up 3.0 million from last month based on a 3 percent increase in area. According to Chinas National Statistical Bureau, planted area reached 25.8 million hectares in 1999, up 590,000 hectares from last year. Yield is virtually unchanged this month at 4.96 tons per hectare. However, yield is expected to decline from last year due to excessive rainfall during August in southern China and the lower Yangtze River Valley, while a drought affected yield in the North China Plain, Liaoning and Jilin Provinces. Conditions in Heilongjiang Province were favorable, and moderate rainfall in mid-August improved yield prospects in Shandong and the southern plains. Fair weather in late-September favored maturing corn in the Northeast, although scattered frost in mid-September may have caused minor damage to immature crops. Harvesting on the North China Plain was delayed slightly by late-season rainfall, but the impact on yield should be minor.

Oct 1 1999 | CHINA: NSB ANNOUNCES 1999 SOWN AREA FOR SEVERAL CROPS
According to officials from Chinas National Statistical Bureau (NSB), the 1999 planted area for grains dropped slightly from last year to 113 million hectares, but cotton and sugar area declined by 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Cotton area is estimated at 3.9 million hectares, the lowest in history, in response to excessive stocks and lower prices, while the reduction in sugar area resulted from economic problems in the sugar industry. In contrast, planted area for rice, corn, and oilseed crops is expected to increase in 1999. Early rice area declined by an estimated 180,000 hectares, but this is more than offset by increased middle and late rice areas. Corn area is estimated at 25.8 million hectares, up 590,000 or 2 percent from last year, and oilseed crops (excluding soybeans, which is considered a grain in China) increased by almost 8 percent to 13.9 million hectares, as planted area for peanuts and rapeseed reached record levels.

Nov 1 1999 | CHINA: RICE CROP PROJECTED AT RECORD LEVEL
Chinas 1999/2000 rice crop is estimated at a record 141.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 1 percent from last years revised crop of 139.1 million. Total rice area is estimated up slightly from last year at 31.3 million hectares, with increased single and late rice area offsetting a slight drop in early rice area. The weather was generally favorable for this seasons early rice crop, and production was reportedly higher than last year due to higher yield. Excessive rainfall and local flooding in the lower Yangtze River Valley during the summer delayed the transplanting and development of single and late rice, but any crop losses were minor compared to 1998/99, when China experienced the worst flooding in decades. Warm and mostly dry weather in October favored the maturing late-rice crop, and yield is expected to be at or above record level.

Nov 1 1999 | CHINA: GOVERNMENT RELEASES 1998 CROP PRODUCTION STATISTICS
After a delay of several months, the Chinese Government has finally released 1998/99 production statistics for most crops. Production of total grain (rice, wheat, corn, other cereals, beans, and tubers) reached a record 512.3 million tons, up 18.1 million from 1997/98. A large decline in wheat production was more than offset by record corn production, which exceeded the previous crop by 28.7 million tons. The 1998/99 rice crop was the second-largest on record despite serious flooding in central and southern China. Oilseed production reached a record 23.1 million tons, boosted by record peanut output. Cotton production declined slightly in 1998/99 due to lower area and yield.

Dec 1 1999 | CHINA: RICE CROP PROJECTED AT RECORD LEVEL
Chinas 1999/2000 rice crop is estimated at a record 141.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 1 percent from last years revised crop of 139.1 million. Total rice area is estimated up slightly from last year at 31.3 million hectares, with increased single and late rice area offsetting a slight drop in early rice area. The weather was generally favorable for this seasons early rice crop, and production was reportedly higher than last year due to higher yield. Excessive rainfall and local flooding in the lower Yangtze River Valley during the summer delayed the transplanting and development of single and late rice, but any crop losses were minor compared to 1998/99, when China experienced the worst flooding in decades. Warm and mostly dry weather in October favored the maturing late-rice crop, and yield is expected to be at or above record level.

Jun 1 2005 | China: Soybean Area and Production Forecast Lower in 2005/06
Chinas soybean production in 2005/06 is forecast at 17.0 million tons, down 1.0 million from last years record crop. Estimated area of 9.7 million hectares is down 0.1 million from a year ago. According to a planting intentions survey by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), soybean area was expected to drop in 2005/06 due to comparatively low prices and government policies that favor grain production. The forecast yield of 1.75 tons per hectare is lower than last year but close to the 5-year average. Chinas soybean yields are highly variable and the 10-year trend is nearly flat. Yield improvement is limited by climatic constraints, the slow introduction of new technology, and the small scale of production. Although the government allows the importation of GMO soybeans for crushing, it has not approved them for planting. The Northeast provinces (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia) account for about 55 percent of Chinas soybean production. According to provincial officials, Heilongjiang soybean area was expected to drop by about 3 percent (80,000 - 100,000 hectares) in 2005. Planting in the Northeast normally starts in late April, but wet and cool spring weather delayed the sowing and early development of soybeans by 1 to 2 weeks, with the biggest delays in the northern part of Heilongjiang. Favorably warm and dry weather in late May improved planting conditions, but crop development as of June 6 was reportedly 3 - 7 days later than average. Timely showers in April and May aided planting and emergence of the early soybean crop on the North China Plain (about 25 percent of total production) and central/southern China (about 17 percent). Recent, unseasonably hot weather on the NCP has raised drought concerns, and recent severe storms caused locally serious flooding in the south, particularly in Hunan, Sichuan, and Guizhou provinces. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 1 2002 | China's Peanut Crop Revised Downward
Chinas 2002/03 peanut production is estimated at 14.5 million tons, down 0.25 million or 2 percent from last month, but up slightly from last years bumper crop of 14.4 million tons. Estimated area is unchanged this month at a record 5.0 million hectares, but estimated yield was revised downward to 2.9 tons per hectare in response to unfavorable weather in several key peanut-growing provinces this summer. Shandong Province saw drought problems, and excessive rainfall and typhoon damage occurred in parts of Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. The revised yield is lower than the record of 2.97 tons per hectare set in 2000/01, but still higher than the 5-year average.

Nov 1 2002 | Area Revision Boosts Chinas Soybean Production Estimate
Chinas 2002/03 soybean crop is estimated at a record 16.4 million tons, up 0.8 million or 5 percent from last month and up 6 percent from last year. The estimated area of 9.4 million hectares is up 0.4 million from last month, but down 0.1 million or 1 percent from last years revised estimate of 9.5 million hectares. Last spring it appeared that area would drop 2 percent despite efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture to encourage farmers to expand soybean area. Prices were very low after the 2001/02 harvest and many farmers reportedly preferred to plant corn instead of soybeans. The area reduction was especially large in Heilongjiang, the largest soybean-producing province in the country. However, rising prices in May induced farmers to plant more soybeans in the North China Plain, where soybeans are planted following the wheat harvest. The estimated yield of 1.75 tons per hectare is higher than last years drought-damaged crop and slightly higher than the 5-year average. Planting was delayed in the Northeast and North China Plain by unusually dry spring weather, but timely and near-normal summer rainfall provided adequate moisture for crop development in most crop areas. However, soybeans in the lower Yellow River Valley (Shandong and western Hebei Provinces) may have been stressed by drought, while excessive rainfall and local flooding may have lowered yields in parts of the Yangtze River Valley, southern China and northern Xinjiang Province. Harvesting is complete in Northeast China and should be drawing to a close in southern China: no weather-related problems have been reported.

Nov 1 2002 | China Cotton Area and Production Revised Upward on Higher Area and Record Yield
Chinas 2002/03 cotton crop is estimated at 21.5 million bales (4.68 million tons), up 1.0 million or 5 percent from last month, but down 12 percent from last years bumper crop. Cotton area for 2002/03 was revised upward this month (from 4.1 to 4.2 million hectares) based on planted area information from Chinese government sources. The estimated area is down almost 13 percent from last year, with reductions coming from nearly all cotton-growing provinces. The estimated yield of 1,115 kilograms per hectare is slightly higher than last years record yield of 1,102 kilograms per hectare and reflects better-than-expected yields in Xinjiang Province and rising trend yields in northern China. Cotton yields in China have been increasing steadily since 1992/93 for several reasons, including the expanded use of Bt cotton on the North China Plain, improved crop management methods, reduced planting on marginal lands, and the expansion of planted area in Xinjiang Province where yields are higher than the national average. The weather in September and October was mostly dry and generally favorable for cotton maturing and harvesting, although continued scattered showers may have delayed harvest progress in the Yangtze River valley.

Dec 1 2002 | Chinas 2002/03 Rice Production Drops to Excessive Rains and Government Programs
Chinas 2002/03 milled rice output is estimated at 121.8 million tons (174.0 million tons, rough basis), down 1.4 million or 1 percent from last month, and down 2 percent from last year. Planted area dropped 2.5 percent from last year to an estimated 28.1 million hectares in 2002/03, the lowest in nearly 40 years. Early and late rice area has been dropping for several years due in part to government incentives to cut excess stocks of low-quality rice, and encourage the production of high value crops. The estimated 2002/03 paddy yield of 6.19 tons per hectare is slightly higher than last year but below the 5-year average. Early rice yields were reportedly close to normal. However, middle and late yields were expected to be lower than normal, due to excessive rainfall and localized flooding in central and southern China this summer.

Feb 1 2003 | China: Cotton Yields Higher than Expected
Cotton production for 2002/03 is estimated at 22.0 million bales (4.79 million tons), up 0.5 million or 2 percent from last month, but down 10 percent from last years bumper crop of 24.4 million bales. The planted area estimate was unchanged this month at 4.2 million hectares, down 13 percent from 2001/02. Preliminary harvest results from several major cotton provinces indicate better-than-expected crops on the North China Plain (NCP) and record yield and production in Xinjiang. The estimated yield of 1,140 kilograms per hectare is 3 percent above last years record yield. The reasons for the high yield in 2002/03 include the expanded planting of Bt varieties on the NCP, effective management practices, and favorably dry harvest weather in most areas. Cotton was a profitable crop for Chinese farmers in 2002, which may promote increased plantings in 2003.

Feb 1 2003 | China: Weak Economic Returns Lead to Lower Wheat Production
Wheat production for 2002/03 is estimated at 91.0 million tons, down 1.0 million or 1 percent from last month and down 3 percent from last year. Wheat area for 2002/03 is estimated at 23.5 million hectares, down 5 percent from last year and the lowest area on record. Wheat area has dropped by more than 20 percent since 1997/98. Area has been declining in response to poor returns for wheat, declining government support for low-quality wheat, and increasing support for alternative crops. The estimated yield of 3.87 tons per hectare is slightly higher than last year and close to the 5-year average. Dry weather on the North China Plain in spring 2002 had a minor affect on winter wheat yields, and the weather for spring wheat was generally favorable.

Apr 1 2003 | Chinese Soybean Producers React to Changing Policies and World Markets
USDAs 2002/03 soybean production estimate for China is unchanged this month. But year to year, China's soybean producers have been expanding production, evidence that the Chinese agricultural economy is becoming more open to market forces, but it is not fully open to world markets. From 2001/02 Chinas soybean production expanded to a record 16.4 million tons in 2002/03, up 6 percent from 2001/02, and up 59 percent from 10 years ago. Domestic Chinese soybean, meal, and oil prices have shifted with world market prices in the last several years, but have also reacted to policy changes. In 2002/03, at 9.4 million hectares, harvested area for a second year was close to the record 10 million set in 1963. Farmers benefited from the relatively higher prices with last autumns harvest, and may react by increasing planted area in 2003/04. Soybean yields show a significant positive trend. The linear trend yield for 2003/04 is 1.81 tons per hectare and will be a record if realized. Marginal land is being abandoned, and some of this land is being reforested. Yields on better land are increasing more than enough to offset the loss of area. Agricultural land tenure arrangements have become more flexible under the Household Responsibility System over the last 20 years. Flexibility allows larger functional farms to develop and facilitates the adoption of new technology and mechanization. China currently has a fast growing economy enabling investment in soybean crush capacity, roads, railways, and infrastructure, promoting efficient soybean transportation and marketing. There is evidence that an assortment of policies protect Chinese soybean producers from the full effect of the world market such as: non-transparent administration of tariff rate quotas for oils, including soybean oil; differential application of the value added tax on domestic versus imported beans; and an exemption of beans from a railway construction tax. The net effect of these policies is to increase production beyond the levels expected from a fully open market. Soybean area may increase next year due to market and policy influences. USDA will release its 2003/04 official crop estimate of Chinas soybean production on July 11, 2003. (Paul Provance, 202/720-0881)

Jun 1 2003 | China: 2003/04 Corn Production Forecast Lower, 2002/03 Adjusted Downwards
Chinas 2003/04 corn production estimate is forecast at 118.0 million tons, down 4.0 million or 3 percent from last month and 3 percent from last year due to lower forecast area and yield. Area is estimated at 23.8 million hectares, down 1 percent from last month and down 3 percent from last year, based on the latest planted area data from the National Bureau of Statistics. Farmers reportedly shifted from corn to soybeans, cotton, and other cash crops in response to market signals and government incentives to cut grain production. Very dry spring weather led to reduced yield prospects in many areas. The estimated yield of 4.96 tons per hectare is down 2 percent from last month but above the 5-year average. Estimated 2002/03 corn production was revised downwards this month, from 125 million tons to 121.3 million and area was increased by 100,000 hectares to 24.6 million. These revisions are based on final official estimates from the National Bureau of Statistics. Dry and very warm weather in May and early June depleted soil moisture and increased crop stress for spring-sown corn on the North China Plain. Summer corn planting is now underway but could be delayed 1 to 2 weeks due to problems with the winter wheat harvest. In the Northeast, planting was completed by mid-May under increasingly dry conditions. Local officials said a serious drought was affecting two-thirds of Jilins corn area, Chinas most important corn province. Showers in late May and early June offered relief, but hot temperatures kept evaporation high and rain failed to ease dry soil moisture conditions. In central and southern China, warm and wet weather supported normal crop development.

Jul 1 2003 | China: Forecast 2003/04 Cotton Production Soars
Chinas 2003/04 cotton production is forecast at 27.0 million bales (5.88 million tons), up 4.4 million or 19 percent from last year, and is the largest crop since 1991/1992. Area is estimated at 5.0 million hectares, up 20 percent from a year ago. The forecast yield of 1,176 kilograms per hectare is equal to last years record yield. Spring-sown cotton accounts for 88-90 percent of total cotton area. In June, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that spring-sown cotton area reached an estimated 4.47 million hectares in 2003, up 745,000 hectares or 20 percent from last year. According to preliminary planting results, cotton area increased in all provinces, with the largest year-to-year area increase in the North China Plain (up 20-30 percent). Area estimates for Xinjiang are 7-13 percent higher than last year. Planting conditions were generally favorable for spring cotton on the North China Plain, but it was wetter than normal in the Yangtze River valley and unfavorably cool and wet in the Northwest. Crop damage from excessive rain and hail was reported from Xinjiang, Hebei, and Hubei early in the growing season, but the losses were not believed to be serious. Summer cotton sowing on the North China Plain was delayed by the late winter wheat harvest; the shortened growing season could have an impact on yield in case of early frost. Recent showers and warm temperatures have benefited cotton development on the North China Plain. In the Yangtze River basin, continuing above-normal rainfall and local flooding could have a negative impact on cotton. Growing conditions in Xinjiang are currently good. For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at (202) 690-0133.

Jul 1 2003 | China: Forecast 2003/04 Rapeseed Production a Record High
Chinas 2003/04 rapeseed production is forecast to reach a record 11.6 million tons, up 1.0 million or 10 percent from last years crop. Area is estimated at 7.5 million hectares, up 5 percent from last year. A poor crop in 2002/03, tight rapeseed oil supplies, and high prices encouraged farmers to expand planted area in 2003/04. The estimated yield of 1.55 tons per hectare is higher than last year and above the 5-year average. Winter rapeseed (sown in September/October and harvested in May) accounts for about 95 percent of Chinas total rapeseed area and production. The minor summer rapeseed crop was planted this spring and will be harvested in late summer. It was unfavorably dry and cool in fall 2002 when the 2003/04 winter rapeseed crop was planted. Rainfall in the Yangtze River valley and Sichuan was adequate for rapeseed development. Drier weather in May aided rapeseed maturing and harvest, although quality problems were reported in some areas due to wet spring conditions. For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at (202) 690-0133.

Jul 1 2003 | China: Forecast 2003/04 Soybean Production Up, Increased Area Offsets Poor Conditions
Chinas 2003/04 soybean production is estimated at 16.6 million tons, up slightly from last year. Soybean area is estimated at 9.4 million hectares, up 0.7 million or 8 percent from last years revised area of 8.72 million hectares. The estimated yield of 1.77 tons per hectare is lower than last years high yield but close to the 5-year average. A spring planting survey from the National Bureau of Statistics estimated 2003/04 soybean area up 5 percent from last year. Farmers reportedly planted more soybeans in response to strong demand, high prices, and government incentives, especially in the Northeast. In Heilongjiang, where one-third of Chinas total crop is grown, local officials estimated a year-to-year increase of 10-17 percent. These area increases are offset by growing conditions that are fair to poor due to a lack of timely precipitation. The Northeast (40-45 percent of total area) was warmer and drier than normal in early spring, resulting in planting delays and poor development. Scattered showers in May and June improved yield prospects, but some sources estimated yield losses of 20-40 percent due to drought in a few areas, particularly northern Heilongjiang. Recent moderate-to-heavy rainfall across the region has boosted soil moisture and eased drought concerns, but moisture deficits remain. On the North China Plain (30-35 percent of total area), planting conditions were generally favorable. Rainfall and temperatures have been close to normal this summer and crops should be developing well. Soybeans in central and southern China (15-20 percent of total area) may have been hurt by excessive rainfall and local flooding. For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at (202) 690-0133.

Aug 1 2003 | China: 2003/04 Rice Production Revised Downward
Chinas 2003/04 rice production was lowered this month to 118.0 million tons (milled basis), a reduction of 2.0 million or 2 percent from last month and down 3 percent from last year. China grows three rice crops annually. Farmers plant an early, double crop; a mid-season, single crop; and a late, double crop. Unseasonable July weather reduced area and yield for the mid-season, single rice crop and late rice crops. Excessive rainfall from mid-June through July caused significant flooding in the important single rice provinces of Anhui and Jiangsu, while unusually hot and dry weather in July and early-August depleted moisture supplies and stressed reproductive single rice and newly-planted late rice in the lower Yangtze River Valley and southeastern China. Recent typhoon activity has brought scattered but welcome rainfall and slightly cooler temperatures to southern China, but soil moisture and seasonal rainfall totals remain far below normal. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133)

Oct 1 2003 | China: Wet Weather Dampens 2003/04 Cotton Yield Prospects
Chinas 2003/04 cotton production is estimated at 25.5 million bales, down 1.5 million or 6 percent from last month, but up 13 percent from last year. Cotton area is estimated at 5.1 million hectares, up 2 percent from last month and up 22 percent from last year based on information from Chinese government sources. The forecast yield of 1,089 kilograms per hectare is down 7 percent from last years record yield, but above the 5-year average. The yield reduction for 2003/04 is due to unfavorable weather in many of Chinas cotton growing regions this summer. The most important cotton growing regions in China are the North China Plain (40 to 45 percent of total production), Xinjiang (about 30 percent), and the Yangtze Valley (20 to 25 percent). Planting conditions were generally favorable for spring cotton on the North China Plain (NCP), although summer cotton sowing was delayed by the late winter wheat harvest and localized drought. Abundant showers in July boosted soil moisture for vegetative/flowering cotton, but relatively cool temperatures slowed crop development. Persistent heavy rainfall, cloudiness, and normal-to-cool temperatures in August and early September caused more problems for cotton in many parts of the NCP, including poor boll formation, boll shed, water logging, wilt, pest outbreaks, and boll rot. Harvesting normally starts in September, but cotton gin arrivals will be delayed by 10 to 20 days. In Xinjiang and the Yangtze Valley, spring planting conditions were wetter and cooler than normal. Excessive rain from mid-June to mid-July caused flooding in Anhui and Jiangsu, and Chinese sources indicated more than 100,000 hectares of cotton were destroyed. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 1 2003 | China: Unfavorable Weather Cuts 2003/04 Corn Crop
Chinas 2003/04 corn output is estimated at 114.0 million tons, down 4.0 million or 3 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 4.79 tons per hectare is down 3 percent from last year and below the 5-year average. Recent crop surveys in the Northeast and North China Plain indicate that most provinces will have lower-than-expected yields due to bouts of unfavorable weather during the growing season. The estimated area of 23.8 million hectares is unchanged this month, but down 3 percent from last year. Farmers reportedly shifted from corn to soybeans, cotton, and other cash crops in response to market signals and government incentives to cut grain production. Planting conditions were drier than normal in the Northeast and upper North China Plain this spring. According to local reports, dryness caused planting delays and poor emergence in several areas, particularly Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces. Mostly seasonable weather from late June through July improved yield prospects overall, but it could not completely erase the effect of the earlier dryness. In Anhui, Jiangsu, and Henan provinces, excessive rain in June and July caused locally serious flooding and significant crop losses, while a severe mid-summer drought stressed the corn crop in the Yangtze Valley and south-central China. In August, unusually heavy rain and cloudiness slowed crop development on the North China Plain and likely lowered corn yield and quality. Harvesting normally begins in September and ends by mid-October. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 1 2003 | China: Higher Estimated Area Boosts 2003/04 Peanut Production
Chinas 2003/04 peanut production estimate was raised this month to 15.1 million tons, up 0.6 million or 4 percent from last month and up 1 percent from last year due to higher estimated area. According to Chinas Ministry of Agriculture, planted area for peanuts continued its upward trend in 2003/04 and reached a record 5.1 million hectares. The forecast yield of 2.96 tons per hectare is similar to last year and slightly above the 5-year average. About 50 percent of Chinas peanuts are produced in the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, and Henan on the North China Plain. Rainfall and temperatures were generally favorable on the North China Plain for most of the growing season, but unusually wet weather after mid-August may have caused local crop losses and slowed harvest progress, particularly in Henan province. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 1 2003 | China: 2003/04 Cotton Production Hurt by Poor Weather
Chinas 2003/04 cotton production is estimated at 22.0 million bales (4.79 million tons), down 3.5 million or 14 percent from last month, and down 3 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 5.1 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 22 percent from a year ago. High prices for the 2002/03 crop and rising cotton demand encouraged farmers to expand cotton area in 2003. Cotton area increased in all provinces, with the largest year-to-year area increase in the North China Plain (up 20 to 30 percent). The 2003/04 forecast yield of 939 kilograms per hectare is down 20 percent from last years record yield and the lowest since 1996/97. Periods of excessive rainfall and cool temperatures from mid-August through mid-October resulted in damage to the vulnerable maturing crop. Incidents of flooding, water logged soils, low boll counts, boll shedding, wilting, late development, pests and diseases, and low quality were widely reported. Some of the most serious losses were in Henan, one of Chinas most important cotton-growing provinces. Crops in parts of Shandong and Hebei Provinces were also damaged by the poor autumn weather. According to recent crop surveys, yields are down 10 to 50 percent from last year in most cotton-producing areas. Only Xinjiang, Gansu, and cotton areas south of the Yangzte River are forecasting near-normal yields in 2003/04. Harvesting and procurement started 10 to 20 days behind schedule this year, but mostly dry and warm weather since mid-October has accelerated harvest progress. Chinas 2003/04 cottonseed production is estimated at 8.62 million tons, down 1.38 million or 14 percent from last month and lower than last year despite the 22 percent increase in planted area. The estimated yield of 1.69 tons per hectare is down 20 percent from last year and the lowest yield in 8 years. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jan 1 2004 | China: Lower Rice Area and Yields Forecast for 2003/04
Chinas 2003/04 milled rice production is estimated at 116.5 million tons (166.4 million tons rough basis), down 1.5 million or 1 percent from last month and down 5 percent from last years below-average crop. Declining area and low yields have reduced the 2003/04 crop to the lowest level in 20 years. The estimated area of 27.3 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down 3 percent from last year. Rice area has dropped for four consecutive years and has declined 13 percent since 1999/00. Low quality indica rice, grown as a double crop in southern China, has seen the largest area reduction in recent years The area and production of japonica rice in northern China increased during the 1990s but has now stabilized, probably due to limited water resources in the region. The estimated yield of 6.1 tons per hectare (rough basis) is down 1 percent from last month and is the lowest since 1995/96. Excessive rainfall and localized flooding damaged the single-rice crop in eastern and central China this summer, while late-rice yields in southern China were likely affected by an unusually severe autumn drought. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Feb 1 2004 | China: Rice Production Down in 2003/04 Due to Lower Area and Yiel
Chinas 2003/04 milled rice crop is estimated at 115.0 million tons (164.29 million tons rough basis), down 1.5 million or 1 percent from last month and down nearly 6 percent from last year. The revision is based on the latest grain area and production information from Chinas Ministry of Agriculture and other official sources. The estimated area of 27.1 million hectares is down 0.2 million from last month and down 1.1 million or 4 percent from last year. Rice area has been declining since 1997/98 for several reasons, including poor economic returns and government incentives to reduce the production of low-quality grain. Early and late rice area for 2003/04 dropped an estimated 7 to 8 percent from last year, while single rice area was estimated down slightly from last years record level. Chinas 2003/04 rice yield was estimated at 6.06 tons per hectare (rough basis), down 2 percent from last year and the lowest since 1995/96. Preliminary harvest reports suggest that early rice yields were higher than last year and close to average, single rice yields were lower than expected due to weather problems, and late rice yields were similar to last years below-normal yields. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Feb 1 2004 | China: Wheat Area and Production Dropped in 2003/04
Chinas 2003/04 wheat production is estimated at 86.0 million tons, down 1.0 million or 1 percent from last month and down 4.3 million or nearly 5 percent from last year. The revision is based on the latest area and production information from the Ministry of Agriculture and other official sources. Wheat area is estimated at 22.0 million hectares, down 0.3 million or 1 percent from last month and down 1.9 million or 8 percent from last year. Both winter wheat and spring wheat area dropped in 2003/04, continuing a strong downward trend that began in 1997/98. The estimated yield of 3.9 tons per hectare is unchanged from last month, but higher than last years below-average yield. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Mar 1 2004 | China: Peanut Production Lower Than Expected in 2003/04
Chinas 2003/04 peanut crop is estimated at 13.4 million tons, down 1.7 million or 11 percent from last month and down 10 percent from last years record crop. The revision is based on official production data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The estimated area of 5.1 million hectares is unchanged from last month, but up 4 percent from last year. Peanut yield for 2003/04 dropped to an estimated 2.62 tons per hectare, down 13 percent from last year and the lowest since the drought-reduced crop of 1997/98. According to local reports, unusually wet weather from August through October 2003, caused significant damage to maturing peanuts in several important peanut-producing provinces on the North China Plain, particularly Henan and Shandong. Harvesting was delayed in many areas, and excessive wetness hurt both yield and quality. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Apr 1 2004 | China: Barley Area and Production Higher Than Expected in 2002/03 and 2003/04
Chinas 2003/04 barley production is estimated at 3.4 million tons, up 1.2 million or 55 percent from last month and up slightly from last years revised output of 3.32 million tons. Area is estimated at 950,000 hectares, up 305,000 or 47 percent from last month and up 4 percent from last years revised area of 914,000 hectares. The changes are based on official data from the National Bureau of Statistics for 2002/03 and preliminary government estimates for 2003/04. The estimated yield of 3.58 tons per hectare is lower than the past 2 years but above the 5-year average. The lower yields in 2003/04 are likely the result of wet weather during the harvest of the winter barley crop. Winter barley, which accounts for most of Chinas output, is grown in the southern part of the North China Plain and the southwest where it competes with winter wheat and rapeseed. A smaller spring barley crop is produced in northwest China. Malting barley accounts for about 60 percent of the total crop; the rest is used for feed. According to industry sources, barley area increased more than expected in the past 2 years in response to a malting barley shortage in 2002. China reportedly became the number one producer of beer in 2003. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Apr 1 2004 | China: Sorghum Production for 2002/03 and 2003/04 Revised Upward
Chinas 2003/04 sorghum production is estimated at 3.30 million tons, up 0.8 million or 32 percent from last month, but essentially unchanged from last years revised output of 3.33 million tons. Area is estimated at 840,000 hectares, up 130,000 hectares or 18 percent from last month, but down slightly from last years revised area of 843,000 hectares. The changes this month are based on official data from Chinas National Bureau of Statistics for 2002/03 and preliminary government estimates for 2003/04. The estimated yield of 3.93 tons per hectare is slightly lower than last year, but above the 5-year average. Sorghum is considered a minor grain crop in China, grown primarily in northern areas using few inputs and traditional methods. It is used as a feed grain and to make liquor. The demand for sorghum as feed has been flat for several years but the demand for liquor production may be increasing. The 2003/04 sorghum crop was harvested last fall. The excessive rain in September and October 2003 that damaged autumn crops on the North China Plain probably had little effect on the output of sorghum, which is concentrated in the Northeast and the northern part of the North China Plain. The 2004/05 crop will be planted in April and May. Given northern Chinas tight water supply situation, drought-tolerant sorghum could become more popular in the future. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

May 1 2004 | Chinas 2004/05 wheat area is estimated at 21.5 million hectares
Chinas 2004/05 wheat area is estimated at 21.5 million hectares, down 0.5 million or 2 percent from last year and the lowest on record. Wheat area has dropped every year since 1997/98 in response to relatively low prices, water shortages, competition from other winter crops, and government policies that discouraged grain production. After the poor grain harvest of 2003/04, the Chinese government announced a series of new agricultural policies to boost grain production in 2004, including direct subsidies to grain farmers and higher floor prices. These policies, however, were announced too late to influence the 2004 wheat crop, which had already been planted. Production in 2004/05 is forecast at 84.0 million tons, down 2.0 million from last year. Yield is expected to reach 3.9 tons per hectare, unchanged from last year and above the 5-year average. Winter wheat accounts for more than 90 percent of Chinas total wheat area. Unusually wet weather in September and October 2003 on the North China Plain caused lengthy planting delays and poor germination in some areas. The situation was the reverse of the 2003/04 planting season, when a severe summer drought seriously depleted soil moisture for planting and germination. From November through the winter, the 2004/05 wheat crop benefited from mild temperatures and seasonal precipitation. Above-normal temperatures and scattered precipitation led to early emergence from dormancy. Dry weather dominated the North China Plain from March through mid-April, and temperatures were much above normal, particularly in mid-April (3 to 7 degrees C above normal, with highs in the 30s). The warmth accelerated crop development by 7 to 10 days. Surface soil moisture declined and some immature crops suffered stress, particularly in Henan province. The situation improved in late April and early May following widespread light to moderate showers and the return of normal temperatures. The majority of the crop reached the critical pollination stage by May 1. Harvesting in southern production areas will start in late May, while most of the crop will be harvested in the first 10 days of June. According to field reports, the winter crop was in fair to good condition in most areas and good yields are expected. Spring wheat area for 2004/05 is expected to be similar to last year. The spring wheat crop was planted in April across northeast and northwest China. Rainfall has been lower than normal since January in most spring wheat areas, but temperatures have been seasonable and soil moisture reserves were much better than last year. Scattered showers in May favored the germinating/vegetative spring wheat crop. Normal yields are forecast at this time.

Jun 1 2004 | Chinas Cotton Production in 2004/05 Up Sharply
Chinas 2004/05 cotton production is expected to reach 29.0 million bales (6.31 million tons), up 6.7 million or 30 percent from last year. Cotton area is estimated at 5.7 million hectares, up 12 percent from a year ago, continuing an upward trend. The forecast yield of 1,108 kilograms per hectare is up 17 percent from last years weather-affected yield, but lower than the record yield of 1,176 kilograms set in 2002/03. According to preliminary planting results, cotton area is expected to increase in nearly all provinces this year, with the largest year-to-year area increase in the North China Plain (up 15 to 20 percent). Cotton prices rose steeply after last years unexpectedly low harvest of 22.3 million bales, which encouraged farmers to increase their cotton acreage for the 2004/05 crop. Some preliminary area estimates were as high as 6.0 million hectares, but the latest estimates by Chinese officials range from 5.5 to 5.7 million hectares. This is still significantly lower than the record area of 6.9 million hectares reached in 1984. Planting conditions for spring cotton (sown in April and May) were favorable on the North China Plain and the Yangtze River Valley. Rainfall was near normal and temperatures were mild. In Xinjiang, planting conditions were much more favorable than last year, when the province suffered from cold and wet spring weather. The sowing of summer cotton (about 10 percent of total cotton area) on the North China Plain will take place after the winter wheat harvest, which will be completed by the end of June. Widespread rainfall in eastern China over the past 30 days caused some minor wheat harvesting delays but it improved soil moisture for vegetative spring-sown cotton and will aid summer cotton planting and emergence. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jun 1 2004 | China Rice Production for 2003/04 and 2004/05 Revised Downward
Chinas 2004/05 milled rice production is estimated at 120.8 million tons (172.5 million tons, rough basis), down 1.75 million or 1 percent from last month, but up 7 percent from last years revised crop of 112.5 million tons (160.7 million, rough basis). The estimated yield of 4.38 tons per hectare is unchanged, but area was revised downward based on changes to the 2003/04 rice area and production estimates. Last month, Chinas National Bureau of Statistics reported that rice production in 2003/04 dropped to the lowest level in more than 20 years. The drop was due to a combination of record-low planted area and unexpectedly low yields, particularly for the single rice crop. The government enacted several policies to encourage rice production in 2004, including direct subsidies to farmers and higher guaranteed purchase prices. In response, rice area is expected to rise by 3 percent to an estimated 27.6 million hectares this year. The early rice crop in southern China is currently at or near the heading stage, while the single rice crop in central China has been transplanted. Moisture supplies are adequate and the both crops should be developing well. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jun 1 2004 | Chinas 2004/05 Wheat Yields Estimated Higher
Chinas 2004/05 wheat production is estimated at 85.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 1 percent from last month, but down 1.5 million from last years revised output of 86.5 million tons. The estimated area for 2004/05 is unchanged this month at 21.5 million hectares, down 0.5 million from last year and the lowest area on record. The estimated yield for 2004/05 was raised this month to 3.95 tons per hectare in response to favorable weather in May for filling and maturing wheat on the North China Plain. According to local Chinese officials, wheat production in Henan, Chinas largest wheat-producing province, is expected to be nearly 1 million tons higher than last year due to increased planted area and very good yields. This increase was achieved despite planting delays, reports of pest damage, and below-normal spring rainfall in some areas. Chinas 2004/05 winter wheat harvest is well underway and should be done by the end of the June. Widespread rainfall on the North China Plain over the past 30 days has caused some harvesting delays but is not expected to have a significant effect on wheat quality or yield. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jun 1 2004 | Record 2004/05 Soybean Crop Expected in China
Chinas 2004/05 soybean production is estimated at a record 17.5 million tons, up 1.5 million or 9 percent from last year and up 1.0 million from the previous record set in 2002/03. Soybean area is estimated at a record 9.8 million hectares, up 500,000 or 5 percent from a year ago. The estimated yield of 1.79 tons per hectare is above the 5-year average and close to the long-term trend. According to a planting survey by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), farmers planned to increase soybean acreage by more than 13 percent this year in response to continuing strong demand from crushers and higher relative profits compared to corn. About 45 percent of Chinas soybean crop is produced in the northeastern part of the country. Spring weather has been favorable for the early development of soybeans in Heilongjiang, which alone produces about one-third of Chinas total output. However, unfavorably warm and dry conditions have developed over most of Jilin and Liaoning provinces, which may cause poor emergence in the drought-affected areas. On the North China Plain (30 percent of total production), planting conditions were generally favorable. Rainfall and temperatures have been close to normal and spring-sown soybeans should be developing well. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jul 1 2004 | China: Cotton Area Increases in Key Regions
Chinas cotton production for 2004/05 is estimated higher this month at 30.0 million bales, up 3 percent from last month and up 35 percent from last year. Estimated area is 5.8 million hectares, up 0.1 million from last month and up 13.5 percent from a year ago. Yield is projected at 1126 kilograms per hectare, up 2 percent from last month and up 19 percent from last years very poor yield, caused by extremely wet weather at the end of the season. Cotton prices rose steeply after last years unexpectedly low harvest of 22.3 million bales, which encouraged farmers to increase area for the 2004/05 crop. Some preliminary area estimates were as high as 6.0 million hectares. Recent area surveys confirmed the expansion in cotton area in 2004. The surveys also indicate that cotton area increased more than expected in several key production areas, particularly Xinjiang province, where yields are above the national average. Planting conditions for spring cotton (sown in April and May) and summer cotton (sown in June) were generally favorable. Currently, vegetative cotton is benefiting from seasonably hot temperatures and near-normal rainfall in most areas. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jul 1 2004 | China: Rice Expected to Recover in 2004/05
Chinas 2004/05 rice crop is expected to bounce back from last years poor harvest due to higher estimated area and improved yield. Milled-rice production is estimated at 126.0 million tons (180.0 million tons, rough basis), up 5.2 million or 4 percent from last month and up 13.5 million or 12 percent from last year. Rice area is estimated at 28.7 million hectares, up 1.1 million or 4 percent from last month and up 8 percent from a year ago. The estimated yield of 6.27 tons per hectare (rough basis) is slightly higher than last month, but up 4 percent from last year and above the 5-year average. After last years unusually small rice crop (112.5 million tons), the Chinese government enacted several policies to encourage rice production in 2004. According to a planting intentions survey by the National Bureau of Statistics, rice area was expected to reverse its downward trend and increase by 1 to 2 percent this year. However, the latest area estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and other Chinese sources indicate a significantly larger increase (about 2 million hectares) from last year. According to MOA, early rice area in the Yangtze River basin increased by 19 percent and total rice area was expected to reach the highest area since 2000/01. The weather has been generally favorable for early rice, which is maturing and will be harvested soon in southern China. The single rice crop, grown in central and northern China, will reach heading in late July and early August. Conditions are normal in the Yangtze River basin, but periodic dryness in the Northeast this season may have reduced irrigation supplies. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Jul 1 2004 | Chinas 2004/05 Wheat Crop Revised Upward
Chinas 2004/05 wheat production is estimated at 87.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 2 percent from last month and up 1 percent from last year. Wheat area is estimated at 21.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 0.5 million or 2 percent from last year and the lowest area on record. Winter wheat accounts for about 93 percent of total wheat area and production. According to area surveys by the Ministry of Agriculture and other government sources, winter wheat area dropped by an estimated 2 to 5 percent in 2004. Spring wheat area is also forecast lower in 2004/05 due to relatively low expected profitability this year. The estimated yield was raised this month to 4.05 tons per hectare, up 3 percent from last year and just below the record of 4.10 tons per hectare set in 1997/98. In May, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that winter-wheat production in 2004/05 might be 2.5 million tons higher than last year despite lower planted area. Wheat production in Henan, Chinas largest wheat-producing province, reportedly increased by almost 1 million tons this year due to higher planted area and excellent yields. This outcome was achieved despite planting delays, reports of pest damage, and below-normal spring rainfall in some areas. Bumper crops were also reported in Shandong and Hebei provinces. These three provinces account for about 50 percent of Chinas total wheat production. Warm and dry weather in May and early June on the North China Plain were ideal for harvesting, which is now complete. Spring wheat is in the filling/maturing stage. Conditions have been drier than normal this year and yields may have been affected. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Aug 1 2004 | China: Record Wheat Yield Forecast in 2004/05
Chinas 2004/05 wheat production is estimated at 90.0 million tons, up 3.0 million or 3 percent from last month. The revision is based on higher estimated winter wheat output. Total wheat area is estimated at 21.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but down 0.5 million or 2 percent from last year and the lowest area on record. According to area surveys by the Ministry of Agriculture and other government sources, winter wheat area dropped by an estimated 2 to 5 percent in 2004. Spring wheat area is also forecast lower in 2004/05 due to low profits. The estimated yield was raised this month to a record 4.19 tons per hectare, up 7 percent from last year. Timely spring rainfall, warm temperatures, and favorable harvest weather contributed to Chinas forecast record winter wheat yields this year. Winter wheat accounts for about 93 to 95 percent of total wheat area and production. On July 16, the National Bureau of Statistics reported that Chinas 2004/05 summer grain output reached 101.05 million tons, up 4.83 million from last year. This estimate is almost 2 million tons higher than an earlier estimate by the Ministry of Agriculture. Historically, winter wheat accounts for 85 to 86 percent of summer grain production. Using these figures, winter wheat production in 2004/05 should reach 86 to 87 million tons. Spring wheat is grown in Northeast and Northwest China. Harvesting is underway and will be completed in August. Conditions were drier than normal during the first part of the growing season but widespread rain since late June improved yield prospects, especially in Heilongjiang, where officials are forecasting record yields this year. Spring wheat output is estimated between 4 and 5 million tons in 2004/05. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Aug 1 2004 | China: Favorable Weather Boosts 2004/05 Corn Yield
Chinas 2004/05 corn production is estimated at 120.0 million tons, up 5 million or 4 percent from last month. Estimated area is unchanged this month at 23.3 million hectares, but down 0.5 million or 2 percent from a year ago. A planting survey by the Ministry of Agriculture last spring forecast corn area to drop by more than 2 percent in 2004/05, but other sources now suggest that corn area could match or be slightly higher than last year. The government announced several incentives this spring to encourage more grain production in 2004/05, including tax cuts and direct subsidies, and farmers may have responded by planting more summer corn and less cotton and soybeans than expected. The estimated yield of 5.15 tons per hectare reflects overall favorable weather to date and will be the highest since 1998/99. The weather and soil moisture in the Northeast was nearly ideal for planting and emergence, but hot and dry weather in June may have stressed corn in western Jilin, Heilongjiang, and eastern Inner Mongolia. Abundant rainfall and seasonable temperatures in July and early August alleviated the drought and created very favorable conditions for reproduction and filling. Corn is now in the filling stage across the region. On the North China Plain (NCP), planting conditions for both the spring and summer corn crops were better than last year. Widespread rainfall since mid-June supplied abundant moisture for crop development. Crops on the NCP appear to be in very good condition based on satellite imagery analysis. Based on recent crop tours in Shandong, Henan, Hebei, and the Northeast, the Agricultural Office in Beijing reported that corn was growing well and yields will most likely be higher than last year assuming normal weather through harvest. Corn is now entering the silk-tassel stage on the NCP. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Sep 1 2004 | China: Cotton Area Revised Downward
Chinas 2004/05 cotton crop was lowered this month to 29.5 million bales (6.42 million tons), down 0.5 million from last month, but up 7.2 million from last years unexpectedly small crop. The revision is based on a 2-percent reduction in estimated area to 5.7 million hectares. According to Chinas National Bureau of Statistics, cotton area in 2004/05 was expected to reach an estimated 5.65 million hectares, up more than 10 percent from last year, in response to very high cotton prices last spring. The forecast yield of 1,127 kilograms per hectare is essentially unchanged from last month. Cotton harvesting has begun and will continue through November. In Shandong, Henan, and Hubei provinces, below-normal temperatures and above normal rainfall in August may have delayed crop development and lowered yield prospects. On the other hand, maturing cotton in several major producing provinces, including Xinjiang, Jiangsu, Anhui and Hebei, enjoyed mostly favorable weather in August and early September. Excellent yields in these provinces are expected to offset any potential yield reductions in other areas of the country. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Oct 1 2004 | China: Higher Corn Area and Production in 2004/05
Chinas 2004/05 corn production forecast was raised this month to 122.0 million tons. This is an increase of 2.0 million tons from last month and 6.2 million tons from last year. Estimated area was revised upward this month to 23.7 million hectares based on information from the U.S. Agricultural Counselor in Beijing and other sources. The forecast yield of 5.15 tons per hectare is the highest yield since 1998/99. Most of the major corn-growing regions of China enjoyed adequate rainfall and favorable temperatures this summer. Chinas government has not released an official corn area estimate for 2004/05. According to a spring planting intentions survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, corn area was expected to drop 2.4 percent in 2004/05, but other sources now suggest that area may equal or be slightly higher than last year. Earlier this year, the Chinese government announced several incentives to encourage more grain production in 2004/05, including tax cuts, direct payments to grain farmers, and subsidies for seeds and agricultural machinery. According to the U.S. Agricultural Counselor, farmers responded favorably to these policies and planted more grain (including corn) this year. Temperatures and soil moisture were generally favorable in the Northeast for corn planting and emergence, but hot and dry weather in June reportedly stressed corn in Inner Mongolia and western parts of Jilin and Heilongjiang. Widespread rainfall and seasonable temperatures in July and August alleviated the drought and created very good conditions for reproduction and filling. On the North China Plain, planting conditions for both the spring and summer corn crops were good. Rainfall was near to above normal all summer, providing abundant moisture for crop development. Temperatures were generally mild and heat stress was minor. Conditions in southern China were mixed: flooding caused crop losses in Sichuan and Hubei, while drought and typhoons hurt some crops in the southeast. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Nov 1 2004 | China: Corn Area and Production Revised Upward
Chinas 2004/05 corn crop is estimated at 126.0 million tons, up 4.0 million from last month and 10.2 million from last year. The increase was based on revisions to the 2003/04 and 2004/05 corn area estimates. The 2003/04 area estimate was raised from 23.4 million to 24.1 million hectares based on final official data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The revised 2004/05 area estimate of 24.5 million hectares reflects a year-to-year increase of about 2 percent (500,000 hectares). According to the U.S. Agricultural Counselor in Beijing and Chinese sources, farmers responded to preferential government grain policies by expanding corn area in 2004. The forecast yield of 5.14 tons per hectare is virtually unchanged this month and the highest yield since 1998/99. The crop benefited from adequate rainfall and favorable temperatures this summer. Warm and mostly-dry autumn weather created very favorable conditions for maturation and harvest. Preliminary results from several important corn-growing provinces confirm earlier forecasts of a bumper corn crop in 2004. Quality is reportedly better than last year and moisture content is lower than normal. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Dec 1 2004 | China: Record Soybean Area and Production Expected in 2004/05
Chinas 2004/05 soybean production is estimated at a record 18.0 million tons, up 0.5 million from last month and 2.6 million from last year. Soybean area is estimated at a record 9.8 million hectares, up 5 percent from a year ago. The estimated yield of 1.84 tons per hectare is up 11 percent from last year and close to the long-term trend. Favorable autumn weather in most parts of the country raised soybean yields above earlier expectations. In the Northeast, scattered showers in September and October may have caused some harvesting delays, but temperatures were warmer than normal and most soybeans were harvested before the arrival of the first hard frost. Warm and mostly dry autumn weather also favored soybean maturation and harvest on the North China Plain, in contrast to last years excessive rain and flooding. A serious autumn drought may have lowered soybean yields in the Yangtze River basin and southern China, but higher production in other areas is expected to offset any losses. Heilongjiang province in Northeast China accounts for 35 to 40 percent of Chinas total soybean production. In 2003/04 it produced a near-record 5.6 million tons of soybeans from a record 3.4 million hectares. According to preliminary estimates by the China National Grain and Oil Information Center, area increased to 3.5 million hectares in 2004/05 and production is expected to reach a record 6.65 million tons. To put it in perspective, Heilongjiang province would rank 6th in the world in soybean production behind the US, Brazil, Argentina, China, and India. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Feb 1 2005 | China: 2004/05 Peanut Crop Revised Downward
New information regarding Chinas 2004/05 total oilseed production has prompted a revision of Chinas 2004/05 peanut crop. Production is now estimated at 15.3 million tons (unshelled), down 0.5 million from last month, while estimated area is lowered to 5.3 million hectares, down 0.1 million. Both area and production reached record levels in 2004/05. The estimated yield of 2.89 tons per hectare is higher than last year and close to the 5-year average. The weather was generally favorable in the main peanut-growing provinces of the North China Plain during the growing season, although heavy rain in August and September caused problems for the maturing crop in a few areas. In southern China, unseasonably dry autumn weather likely lowered yields, particularly in Guangdong Province, a major peanut producer. On January 25, Chinas National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced that oilseed output reached 30.57 million tons in 2004/05, up 8.8 percent from last year. Peanuts normally account for 49 to 51 percent of Chinas total oilseed crop. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

Mar 1 2005 | China Wheat: Higher Production in 2004/05
Chinas 2004/05 wheat production is estimated at 91.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from last month and up 4.5 million from last year. The change is based on a small upward revision in estimated area. The estimated yield of 4.18 tons per hectare is up 6 percent from last year and the highest on record. Mild winter weather, adequate spring rainfall, and good harvest conditions resulted in record winter wheat yield. Also, growing conditions for the spring wheat crop were mostly favorable this year. (For additional information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133)

Mar 1 2005 | China Corn: Higher Yield and Production in 2004/05
Chinas 2004/05 corn crop is estimated at 128.0 million tons, up 2.0 million from last month and up almost 11 percent from last year. The estimated area of 24.5 million hectares is unchanged from last month, but slightly higher than last year. Chinas corn yield was revised upward this month to 5.22 tons per hectare, up 8.5 percent from last years flood-affected crop and the second highest yield on record. According to field surveys and reports from local agriculture departments, corn yields were better than normal and significantly higher than last year in many important corn-growing regions. Generally favorable weather (adequate rainfall, no serious droughts, floods, or late frost) and the increased use of fertilizer, irrigation, and high-yielding varieties contributed to the bumper crop. (For additional information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133)

Apr 1 2005 | China: Peanut and Rapeseed Production Revisions
Chinas 2004/05 peanut production is estimated at 14.3 million tons (unshelled), down 1.0 million from last month, but up 0.9 million from last year. The estimate is based on official 2004 production data from Chinas National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Peanut area is estimated at 5.0 million hectares, down 0.3 million from last month and down slightly from last year. Although the NBS has not yet released official peanut area data for 2004/05, it now appears that Chinas peanut area did not increase as previously expected. The estimated yield of 2.86 tons per hectare is higher than last years weather-reduced crop and close to the 5-year average. Heavy rain in August and September was detrimental to the maturing crop in northern production areas, while unseasonably dry weather likely hurt yields in the southern peanut provinces. Chinas 2004/05 rapeseed crop is estimated at a record 13.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from last month and up 1.6 million from last year. The estimate is based on official 2004 production data from NBS. The estimated area for 2004/05 was lowered to 7.3 million hectares, down 0.5 million from last month, but up slightly from last year. The Chinese government has not yet released an official area estimate for the 2004/05 rapeseed crop. Yield for 2004/05 is estimated at a record 1.79 tons per hectare and reflects abundant moisture at planting in fall 2003 and excellent weather for maturing and harvesting in spring 2004. On February 28, NBS announced that Chinas total oilseed area for 2004/05 was only 14.52 million hectares, down almost 500,000 hectares from last year. The report did not give area estimates for individual crops. Peanuts and rapeseed normally account for about 32 percent and 49 percent of total oilseed area, respectively. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

May 1 2005 | Chinas 2004/05 wheat area is estimated at 22.7 million hectares
Chinas 2004/05 wheat area is estimated at 22.7 million hectares, up 4 percent from last year and the first area increase since 1997/98. Winter wheat accounts for more than 90 percent of Chinas total wheat area and production. The 2005/06 winter wheat crop was planted from late September through October 2004 and will be harvested by the end of June 2005. According to government planting surveys, winter wheat area increased in every major wheat province this year. Among the reasons for the increase in planted area are higher wheat prices in 2004, higher profits compared to competing crops such as rapeseed and cotton, preferential government policies for grain production (including direct payments to grain farmers, seed subsidies, and lower agricultural taxes), and excellent weather during the planting season. Production in 2005/06 is expected to reach 93.0 million tons, up 2 million from last year. The forecast yield of 4.10 tons per hectare is below last years record yield of 4.18 tons per hectare but above the 5-year average. Soil moisture and temperatures were optimal for winter wheat planting in September and October 2004. Moderate showers in November eased localized dryness and provided favorable moisture for wheat germination and emergence, especially in the southern plains. Light to moderate snow in late November further boosted soil moisture levels and offered some protection against sharply colder temperatures in December. The weather was seasonably cold and dry in January, and China's winter wheat crop emerged from dormancy in February and March in good condition. In the southern plains and Sichuan, crop progress was temporarily delayed by unseasonably cool temperatures and heavy spring rainfall, but warmer and drier weather in April and May has been nearly ideal for wheat development. However, conditions have been drier than normal in the Yellow River Basin, despite timely showers in April and May. Unseasonably warm temperatures in late April (up to 99E F.) depleted soil moisture and stressed wheat in the boot to heading stage, particularly in northern and western crop areas (Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and northern Henan). Scattered showers and cooler temperatures returned in early May, but more rain will be needed in the next few weeks to prevent yield losses. The winter wheat crop is currently in the heading to grain-fill stage, when it is most vulnerable to high temperatures and moisture stress. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)


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