The Wait is Over: Release of the 2013/2014 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report


The U.S. Grains Council has released the much anticipated 2013/2014 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, which measures the U.S. corn quality at the point of loading for export. This report is essential for buyers around the globe as corn purchasing decisions are made, and it provides reliable, transparent information to international markets.

When reviewed alongside the Council’s 2013/2014 Corn Harvest Quality Report, potential buyers can see the evolution of corn quality from harvest to export and make more informed buying decisions. These reports also provide comparisons between the last three growing seasons to show trends in corn quality year-to-year.

Indications of Good Quality

Overall, the quality of corn remains high since harvest, as the average aggregate quality of samples surpassed U.S. No. 2 standards on all grade factors. The average test weight was 57.3 lb/bu (73.8 kg/hl), lower than previous years, but average moisture content of 14.5 percent was higher than in previous years.

Total damage (1.7 percent) and broken corn and foreign material (BCFM) (2.9 percent) rates have increased since harvest, which is expected during storage and transportation. A higher incidence of stress cracks was also seen – likely a result of more artificial drying due to higher moisture content than previous years. However, based on the samples, most of the supply is expected to have reduced breakage during handling.

Rates Remain Positive

The chemical composition of the samples remains largely unchanged from samples tested at harvest. Protein content has returned to more normal levels similar to 2011/2012 at 8.6 percent – lower than last year’s 9.2 percent.

As expected, the starch content had the opposite trend, as it was higher than last year at 73.7 percent and lower than the 2011/2012 season. Oil content has remained similar to previous years at 3.7 percent.

Mycotoxin rates remain very low in the corn ready for export, similar to rates at harvest. All sampled corn tested below the FDA action level for aflatoxins and the advisory levels for DON. The 2013/2014 season in particular had a significantly higher proportion of samples that tested below 5 ppb for alfatoxins, and around 95 percent of samples fell below 0.5 ppm for DON.