China, the world’s second-biggest corn consumer, will not be able to produce enough corn to meet rising domestic demand even as farmers harvest a record corn crop, the U.S. Grains Council said after completing its fifteenth annual field tour.

Consumption may total 170.1 million metric tons, a record 6.7 billion bushels, in the year that began on October 1, according to Thomas C. Dorr, the Council’s president and CEO. However, according to Kevin Rempp, a member of the Council's Asian advisory team, China farmers may produce 166.6 million tons during the same period, an increase of 5.6% over the previous season — but not enough to eliminate China's need to import corn. Dorr said China may still need to import 5 million to 10 million tons from global suppliers before the end of 2012.


Farmers will harvest an average of 85.9 bushels of corn per acre from an estimated 76.35 million acres in the next year, up from an average yield of 84.7 bushels from 73.82 million acres, Rempp said after sampling fields in September with U.S. and Chinese grain traders, government officials and other council members.