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UPDATE 2-China raises forecast for 2017/18 corn deficit on lower output

* Corn output seen lower on reduced govt support

* Consumption to grow on new ethanol policy

* Soybean output seen higher thanks to weather

(Changes headline, adds detail on corn prices) BEIJING, Oct 12 (Reuters) - China on Thursday increased the forecast for its deficit in corn supply in the 2017/18 crop year to 4.31 million tonnes from the 890,000 tonnes predicted last month, stoked by lower-than expected output and higher anticipated demand. Corn output is expected to drop to 210.1 million tonnes versus last month's forecast of 212.48 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said, adding that less land had been planted with corn than earlier thought following reduced government support. Corn consumption will come in at 215.62 million tonnes, compared with last month's forecast of 214.57 million tonnes, thanks to stronger-than-anticipated demand from ethanol plants, the ministry said in its monthly Chinese Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (CASDE). Chinese state media announced last month that Beijing plans to roll out blending of ethanol across the country's gasoline supply. The deficit in supply in the world's top consumer of grains could support prices that have been under pressure from the recently started harvest. Dalian corn futures have lost around 1 percent this week as the harvest in most regions gets underway. Some farmers plan to hold their crop back from the market, however, betting that prices could rally later in the season.

The larger deficit is also good news for Beijing, which has been trying to scale back its production of corn and still needs to get rid of millions of tonnes of ageing corn held in state warehouses after a years-long stockpiling programme. China's crop year for grains runs from October to September. Meanwhile, the nation's 2017/18 soybean output is seen at 14.94 million tonnes, up from last month's forecast of 14.68 million tonnes thanks to a slightly higher planted acreage and good growing conditions that have boosted yields. Farmers have also planted superior varieties of soybeans this year with higher protein content, the ministry said.

2015/201 2016/2017 2017/2018 2017/2018 Percentage 6 (estimated (forecast (forecast change in Oct.) in Sep.) in Oct.)

Corn

Planted 38.12 36.76 35.5 35.1 -1.13%

acreage (mln hectare s)

Output 224.63 219.57 212.5 210.11 -1.12%

(mln tonnes)

Imports 3.17 2.3 1.5 1.5 0.00%

(mln tonnes)

Ending 33.7 11 -0.89 -4.31

Stocks (mln tonnes) Soybean

Planted 6.59 7.21 8.11 8.194 1.04%

acreage (mln hectare s)

Output 11.61 12.94 14.68 14.94 1.77%

(mln tonnes)

Imports 83.23 92.87 94.5 94.5 0.00%

(mln tonnes)

Ending -1.95 -1.14 -0.25 0.01

Stocks (mln tonnes) Cotton

Planted 3.27 3.1 3.29 3.29 0.00%

acreage (mln hectare s)

Output 4.93 4.82 5.28 5.35 1.33%

(mln tonnes)

Imports 0.96 1.11 1 1 0.00%

(mln tonnes)

Ending 11.11 8.94 7.06 7.06

Stocks (mln tonnes) Sugar

Planted 1.42 1.35 1.47 1.47 0.00%

acreage (mln hectare s)

Cane 1.3 1.18 1.28 1.28 0.00% Beet 0.13 0.17 0.2 0.2 0.00% Output 8.7 9.29 10.47 10.47 0.00%

(mln tonnes)

Cane 7.85 8.24 9.23 9.23 0.00%

sugar

Beet 0.85 1.05 1.24 1.24 0.00%

sugar

Imports 3.73 2.35 3.2 3.2 0.00%

(mln tonnes)

Ending -2.92 -3.48 -1.4 -1.4

Stocks (mln tonnes)

(Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Joseph Radford)