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China Leading U.S. Corn Buyer Early in Marketing Year

Dan Corn, Economy, Exports/Imports

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By Fotokostic/Shutterstock

A recent buying spree means China is running away with the top spot on the U.S. corn buyer list six weeks into the marketing year. China has purchased 10.4 million tons for delivery during 2020-2021, twice as large as the sales to date for Mexico, which is usually the number one U.S. corn purchaser.

“Our top customer for the current crop year is off to a very rapid start,” says Ryan LeGrand, CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. “The phase one trade agreement is a factor, but Chinese importers are also practical and will buy what they need when they need it, and the price is right for them.”

The USDA says 1.1 million tons of the corn purchases have shipped to China, and the rest of the 10.4 million tons remains on order. Exporters have sold 4.7 million tons of corn to Mexico for delivery this marketing year, and 941,000 of those tons are in Mexican hands. Mexico has been the top market for U.S. corn for several years now. During the last marketing year, Mexico imported about 14.5 million tons, while China brought in about 2.3 million tons.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)