USDA announced the export sale of 115,000 metric tons (4.5 million bushels) of U.S. corn to China. Despite strong production gains as a result of market-based reforms instituted 30 years ago, according to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the rapid growth of China’s agricultural output has begun to be outpaced by demand. The convergence of China’s demand and production, in conjunction with their dramatic economic growth, has likely encouraged China to open their markets to corn imports.
"For the past 30 years, the USGC has had a presence in China, working with local producers, feed millers and manufacturers to demonstrate the value and cost effectiveness of U.S. corn and their coproducts," says Rick Fruth, USGC chairman and Ohio corn farmer. "We are pleased to see that these market development efforts by the council are being realized in corn sales to China. We anticipate China to be a long-term importer of U.S. corn and coproducts."
USGC sources suggest six additional cargos of U.S. corn (250,000-300,000 metric tons or 9.8-11.8 million bushels) may have been booked for China delivery.
"This tranche of U.S. corn exports to China is certainly exciting and should pave the way for continuing imports," says Mike Callahan, USGC senior director for international operations. "As China’s demand continues to increase, along with its economic growth and urbanization, China is likely to rely more heavily on imports as a way to maintain critical supply and demand balances."
Thomas Dorr, USGC president and CEO, says food security with our trading partners is dependent on continuous, transparent and stable trade relationships. "We are hopeful the trade relationship with China will mimic the successful, longstanding relationships the U.S. shares with other parts of the world," he say. "This is indeed encouraging news as U.S. corn growers proceed at one of the most rapid paces ever to plant what appears could be another record crop."