(Bloomberg) -- Torrential rains that triggered floods in parts of China in June are seen continuing in July, slowing growth of the corn crop and delaying the harvest. Still, damage to early-season rice and cotton is probably minor.
Most of the northeast and north is likely to receive excessive rain in July, said the National Climate Center. Average rainfall in the country last month was the ninth highest since 1961. The worst flooding came in 1998, when thousands of people were killed as river banks burst, flooding villages and farmland.
“What’s worrying the market is that the domestic corn harvest could be delayed as there’s not enough sun for crops to grow,” said Meng Jinhui, a senior analyst with Shengda Futures. A delayed harvest could support domestic prices during September and October as new crop supplies may not reach the market on time, said Meng.
China’s corn prices have been hovering near the highest in five years as demand surpasses output, and the second-largest consumer could be set to exceed its World Trade Organization low-tariff import quota for the first time.
Flooding in some provinces in the south likely caused only limited damage to rice because temperatures were high, unlike last year when below-normal temperatures hurt crops during flowering, said Ma Wenfeng, an analyst with Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant Co. Logistical disruptions because of the bad weather have pushed up prices of vegetables and pork, said Ma.
Floods in the south and southwest have also raised concerns that they may spread African swine fever and cause more outbreaks at small farms, said Ma.
China also issued a flood warning on the Yangtze River, the country’s longest, after water flow from upstream rivers to the Three Gorges Dam hit 53,000 cubic meters per second on Thursday, according to the Ministry of Water Resources. The Yellow River, the second-longest, is also preparing for the flood season, which started on Wednesday.
The ministry said Tuesday that frequent floods are expected in rivers and lakes in July and August due to heavy rainfall, and urged high vigilance.
Floods in June triggered by torrential rains in 25 provinces led to economic losses totaling 36 billion yuan ($5.1 billion), affecting 16 million people with 106 dead or missing, according to state television.
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