The Chinese government is encouraging farmers to switch from planting corn to soyabeans to reduce the country’s massive corn stockpile, Reuters reported on 19 April.

Beijing was sitting on 250M tonnes of corn – more than a year’s consumption – as a result of a decade-long stockpiling programme that ended in 2016 and corn processors were ramping up their capacities to get rid of the old stock, the report said.

COFCO Biochemical, a subsidiary of the state-owned grain trader COFCO, was increasing its annual capacity to more than 10M tonnes of corn by 2020, Reuters quoted the company’s general manager Tong Yi as saying.

Tong said China’s total corn processing capacity was projected to reach 70M tonnes by the end of 2018, up from the current 50M tonnes capacity,

Experts estimated that the country could burn through the old corn stock in three to five years.