05 August 1997
Drought hits Chinese corn belt

A CRISIS has hit Chinas corn belt, and threatens to halt exports. The crop is badly danaged, and domestic prices have been driven up.

There is speculation that China will withdraw from international sales in the second half of the year.

Chinas official media report that 20m ha (49m acres) have been hit by drought.

  • The US government is revising downwards its forecast for the 1997 corn harvest. It had predicted a 115m tonne crop against last years 127m tonnes because of declining corn acreage. This has fallen by 3.5% this year.

  • Financial Times 05/08/97 page 23