For the first time in almost 15 years, a shipload of U.S. corn arrived and is being unloaded in China. The vessel, carrying 55,000 metric tons (2.2 million bushels) of U.S. No.2 yellow corn, arrived at the Longkou Port in Shandong Province of China on June 21, 2010. Without delay, the vessel cleared customs and berthed for commencement of discharge on June 22, 2010. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) was on-site for the arrival.

“The documents passed promptly through customs and cleared for discharge into the port warehouse by the Customs Inspection and Quarantine Service,” says Dan Keefe, USGC marketing specialist. “The cooperation throughout the supply chain – from the U.S. supplier, to the vessel agent, to the port management, to the buyer, to the customs office, to the inspector and finally to the feed mills – appears to be very good. This is a very positive indication for future corn imports.”

The port operates five cranes discharging at the rate of about 700 metric tons (28,000 bu.)/hour with very little port congestion. The discharging operation is expected to be completed in four days time, weather permitting.

“Samples were being drawn on a regular basis. There were no negative comments or observations made of the corn. The quality was consistent with a No.2 U.S. FGIS grade and the corn was in good condition,” says Keefe. “We are pleased with the success of this shipment.”

Another vessel of U.S. corn is scheduled to discharge in July 2010.