In-depth Analyses

All Data


     Charts / Figures

     Thematic Maps






Web Links







2nd Revision


Data - Maize Balance
China's Maize Balance: Supply & Utilization, 1961-1996 (1000 tons) (Maize & Maize Products) /*
After rice and wheat, maize is the third most important grain in China. Most of the maize is used as feed grain. In 1996 the farmers produced almost 130 million tons; together with imports and extraction from stocks the country had a total domestic supply of 140 million tons.
Between 1990 and 1994 maize production essentially stagnated or declined. The reason for this stagnation of domestic supply was partly due to increased exports, especially in 1992, 1993 and 1994. It is interesting, that these were exactly the years, when China had problems with its rice supply - mainly because rice was increasingly used to feed animals (see the discussion of
China's rice balance). This chart suggests that in the early 1990s China triggered a rice problem by exporting too much maize, so that farmers used rice (and wheat) to feed their animals.
maize2_m.gif (8773 bytes)
Despite China's rapid population growth, there was no big change in the amount of maize available for human. In the 1960s and 1970s between 15 and 20 million tons were used for direct human consumption. Then, in the 1980s between 20 and 25 million tons where used as food. Between 1992 and 1996 the maize supply for food declined again - in 1996 it was almost exactly at the same level as in 1961.
The use of maize as feed grain, however, followed a completely different trend. While in the 1960 the supply was typically around 10 million tons, it increased to more than 120 million tons in 1996. Especially in 1995 and 1996 China saw a huge increase in the amount of maize available to feed animals. Obviously, the authorities had realized that it was essential to step-up feed grain production, because otherwise the farmers would feed valuable rice to their animals.
Utilization (in %)
maize3_m.gif (10205 bytes)
This percentage distribution gives a clear picture, of how much the utilization of maize changed in China during the past decades. While in 1961 almost 80% oft the maize available in the country was used for direct human consumption, it was only 10% in 1996. Especially in the 1990s the proportion used to feed animals increased rapidly. This reflects the increase in the consumption of meat, which caused an increase in the demand for feed grain.
The percentage of maize used for seed production declined (as for wheat and rice) and the waste remained essentially unchanged.
Source: For all charts: WHO (1999): FAOSTAT. Food Balance Sheets. Rome (data downloaded through web)
Note: /* Data include Taiwan (but not Hong Kong)
blank_3.gif (810 bytes)
Related Tables & Charts

Projected Cereal Consumption and Grain Requirementsblank_3.gif (810 bytes)China's Food Balance in 1996 (most recent)blank_3.gif (810 bytes)China's Food Balance in 1964-66blank_3.gif (810 bytes)China's Food Balance in 1994-96blank_3.gif (810 bytes)Changes in China's Food Balance between 1964-66 and 1994-96blank_3.gif (810 bytes)Percent Changes in China's Food Balance between 1964-66 and 1994-96blank_3.gif (810 bytes)blank_3.gif (810 bytes)blank_3.gif (810 bytes)China's Wheat Balance, 1961 - 1996blank_3.gif (810 bytes)China's Rice Balance, 1961 - 1996blank_3.gif (810 bytes)China's Maize Balance, 1961 - 1996

Revision 2.0 (First revision published in 1999)  - Copyright 2011 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. (First revision: Copyright 1999 by IIASA.)