BEIJING — Feed demand in China is forecast to rise in marketing year 2022-23 due to recovering demand for hog feed, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The report, issued July 7, showed feed demand rising 4.5 million tonnes compared with the previous year, as hog production becomes more profitable. Poultry and ruminant feed demand also are expected to increase slightly.

The USDA noted that industry experts at the 2022 China Agricultural Outlook Conference estimated that total feed consumption for 2022 would increase by 2.9% year-on-year to 301.6 million tonnes.

The biggest increase is projected to take place in pig feed consumption, up 5.5% to 133.7 million tonnes.

With prices for corn and wheat — both grains commonly used by feed manufacturers — both near record highs, rice has become a popular substitute in recent months, according to the report.

“Rice substitution for corn in feed rations may play a more significant role because of price advantages over corn and other corn substitutes,” the USDA said.

However, the USDA sees feed manufacturers switching back to corn rations in the coming marketing year, with the forecast for feed and residual use of corn rising to 216 million tonnes.

According to the China Feed Industry Association, corn usage in compound feed increased to 40.8% from 35.3% during the first four months of the year.