Surging U.S. Corn Exports to the Western Hemisphere

Chart of note, western hem corn
This week’s U.S. Grains Council (USGC) chart of note illustrates the 177 percent increase in U.S. corn exports to the Western Hemisphere in the 2013/2014 marketing year.

This week’s U.S. Grains Council (USGC) chart of note illustrates the 177 percent increase in U.S. corn exports to the Western Hemisphere in the 2013/2014 marketing year, which ran Sept. 1, 2013 to Aug. 31, 2014, over the 2012/2013 marketing year.

Colombia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and El Salvador increased their U.S. corn imports the most, with Colombia taking more than 3,000 percent more U.S. corn in the 2013/2014 marketing year than the 2012/2013 marketing year. While Mexico is generally among the top 10 export markets for U.S. corn, the notable return of Colombia and Peru to purchasing U.S. corn and the recovery of the U.S. market share in Central America are clear regional successes.

The proximity of the United States to the majority of the countries in the region and the existence of free trade agreements with 12 countries there provides a significant advantage in terms of freight and import tariffs over Argentina and Brazil. However, two poor corn crops in 2011 and 2012 along with competitive pricing of South American corn had eroded U.S. market share in the region. For this reason, U.S. suppliers need to be actively engaged in defending and promoting U.S. origin commodities.

The Council has worked in this region for more than 25 years including by conducting livestock development programs in Venezuela and Colombia; free trade promotion programs in Colombia and Panama; and consumer promotion programs to boost milk, meat and eggs use in Peru and Colombia. With a record U.S. corn crop on its way for the 2014/2015 marketing year, the Council will continue to focus on recapturing or defending U.S. corn market share in this region.