China's corn yields continue to lag behind U.S. yields

A chart showing U.S. and China corn yields.

Data sources indicate that China’s corn yields continue to lag behind yields achieved in the United States (the world’s leading producer) with implications for China’s ability to meet future corn demand through domestic production. Both China’s official yield estimates provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and alternative survey-based estimates provided by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) show China’s average corn yields to be both lower and growing more slowly than U.S. average yields. A key factor constraining yield growth in China is slow progress in breeding appropriate varieties to build on past gains achieved from the adoption of hybrid corn. While fertilizer use is already high by world standards, improvements in pest protection and drought resistance—potentially through the adoption of genetically modified varieties—may offer yield gains. Current USDA corn supply and demand projections for China indicate that demand is likely to outpace production, leading to expanding corn imports. Find this chart and additional analysis in Prospects for China’s Corn Yields and Imports.

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