February 9, 2017 / 3:32 AM / 6 months ago

China cuts corn surplus estimate on higher demand

BEIJING, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Beijing on Thursday cut its forecast slightly for China's corn surplus due to better-than-expected domestic demand, as the government embarks on a strategy to erode its vast stockpile, curb acreage and boost consumption.

In its monthly crop report, the Ministry of Agriculture said it expects the balance for the 2016/17 season that ends on Sept. 30 to total 4.41 million tonnes, down from 5.11 million tonnes from last month.

The data does not include the government's state reserves, which are estimated to be around 200 million tonnes, equivalent to one year's worth of demand.

For soybeans, it cut its estimate for the size of the domestic deficit slightly to 2.19 million tonnes from 2.16 million last month as it forecast higher output.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom, Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason

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