China feed industry unlikely to become self-sufficient, Cargill CEO says

FILE PHOTO: David MacLennan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cargill, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Bogota, Colombia March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

(Reuters) - China’s feed grain industry is unlikely to become self-sufficient despite the country’s efforts to ramp up domestic production, David MacLennan, chief executive of Cargill Inc said on Friday.

Tightening domestic supplies of feed grains and soaring demand from China’s pork producers has triggered record feed grain import purchases this year.

The surge in import demand has come despite directives by Beijing to boost domestic grain output and reformulate pig and poultry feed rations to reduce reliance on imported corn and soy.

“I think they realize comparative advantage ... Grow and produce what fits your climate, your natural resources, your soil, your water supply. They don’t have it the way we, Brazil, Australia do,” MacLennan said at the National Grain and Feed Association annual convention on Friday.

“They need to depend on trade,” he added.

Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Chris Reese, Kirsten Donovan