BEIJING, Apr 2 (Reuters) – China this week released 2 million tonnes of rice from its state reserves for sale to animal breeders to boost supplies for meat production amid high corn prices, said three sources close to the issue.

Corn prices in the country hit record highs at the beginning of this year, and supply concerns were exacerbated by falling stocks and reduced cereal production.

On Wednesday, China sold between 1.4 million and 1.5 million tonnes of rice, about 70% of the total volume traded, for use in animal farms, sources informed of the matter said.

Rice can be sold by state companies directly to meat producers, unlike rice that is sold from reserves in regular tenders for the general market.

The base price stood at 1,500 yuan ($ 228.62) a ton, the sources said, lower than current corn prices of a range of 2,700 to 3,200 yuan per ton.

($ 1 = 6.5610 yuan)

(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Shivani Singh. Additional reporting by Stella Qiu. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)

Read more