This report was originally published on IndexBox. Click here to read the original report.

In 2019, the Asian maize market was finally on the rise to reach US$204,4 billion after two years of decline. The total consumption indicated buoyant growth from 2009 to 2019. Its value increased at an average annual rate of 5,1% over the last decade.

The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analysed period. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2016 with an increase of 25% against the previous year. As a result, consumption reached a peak level of US$215,8 billion. From 2017 to 2019, the growth of the market remained lower.

Maize consumption by country

The country with the largest volume of maize consumption was China (274 million tons), comprising approximately 60% of the total volume. Moreover, maize consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, Indonesia (33 million tons), eightfold. India (28 million tons) ranked third in terms of total consumption with a 6,3% share.

From 2009 to 2019, the average annual growth rate of volume in China stood at 5,2%. In other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Indonesia (6,4% per year) and India (7,3% per year).

In value terms, China (US$130,1 billion) led the market. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Indonesia (US$15,2 billion), which was followed by India.

The countries with the highest levels of maize per capita consumption in 2019 were South Korea (223kg per person), China (188kg per person), and Vietnam (159kg per person).

From 2009 to 2019, the most significant increases were in Vietnam, while maize per capita consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Production in Asia

In 2019, approximately 379 million tons of maize were produced in Asia, increasing by 4,8% compared to the year before. The total production indicated a noticeable increase from 2009 to 2019. Its volume increased at an average annual rate of 4,9% over the last decade.

Based on 2019 figures, production increased by 61,8% against 2009 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2015 when the production volume increased by 16% against the previous year. The volume of production peaked in 2019 and is expected to retain growth in the years to come.

Production by country in Asia

China (270 million tons) constituted the country with the largest volume of maize production, accounting for 71% of total volume. Moreover, maize production in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest producer, Indonesia (33 million tons), eightfold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by India (29 million tons), with a 7,6% share.

In China, maize production increased at an average annual rate of 5,1% from 2009 to 2019. In other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Indonesia (6,3% per year) and India (5,6% per year).

Amid concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on grain supplies, the Chinese government has taken several measures to preserve the area planted to maize, which cancelled previous measures. As a result, production in the country in 2020 is projected at 260 to 265 million tons. In India, after record yields in 2019, a return to typical yields is expected to lead to a slight decrease in maize production, which is currently projected at 28 million tons.

Harvested area in Asia

The harvested area for maize increased modestly to 69 million hectares in 2019, increasing by 2,7% compared to 2018 figures. The harvested area increased at an average annual rate of 2,6% from 2009 to 2019. The trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being observed throughout the analysed period.

The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2015, with an increase of 12% year-on-year (y/y). Over the period under review, the harvested area dedicated to maize production reached the maximum at 69 million hectares in 2016. Afterwards, it flattened to 2019.

Yield in Asia

In 2019, the average maize yield in Asia increased slightly to 5,5 tons/ha, picking up by 2,1% compared to the previous year. The yield figure increased at an average annual rate of 2,3% over the period from 2009 to 2019. The trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations in certain years.

The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2010 when the yield increased by 5,2% y/y. Over the period under review, the maize yield hit record highs in 2019 and is expected to retain growth in the near future.

Maize imports in Asia

In 2019, overseas purchases of maize increased by 7,7% to 77 million tons, increasing for the second consecutive year after two years of decline. Total imports indicated resilient growth from 2009 to 2019. Its volume increased at an average annual rate of 5,3% over the last decade.

Based on 2019 figures, imports increased by 45,3% against 2017 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2018 with an increase of 35% against the previous year. The volume of imports peaked in 2019 and is expected to retain growth in the immediate term.

Imports by country

In 2019, Japan (18 million tons), distantly followed by South Korea (11 million tons), Vietnam (11 million tons), Iran (10 million tons), Taiwan (4,2 million tons), Malaysia (4 million tons) and China (3,9 million tons) represented the main importers of maize, together generating 80% of total imports.

From 2009 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of purchases, among the main importing countries, was attained by Vietnam, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Japan (US$3,5 billion), South Korea (US$2,4 billion) and Vietnam (US$1,9 billion) constituted the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2019, together comprising 50% of total imports.

In 2020, the increases in imports are expected mainly due to rising feed demand. China’s (mainland) purchases from abroad can grow to 7 million tons amid relatively high domestic maize prices. It is expected that increased demand for maize imports in 2020 will be met by larger supplies from the United States, supported by sufficient domestic supplies from a projected record crop in 2020 and low prices.

Import prices by country

In 2019, the maize import price in Asia amounted to US$200/ ton, remaining constant against the previous year.

Average prices varied somewhat among the major importing countries. In 2019, major importing countries recorded the following prices: in China (US$222/ton) and Malaysia (US$213/ton), while Vietnam (US$177/ton) and Iran (US$182/ton) were among the lowest.

From 2009 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Iran, while other leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures. – IndexBox