U.S. Sorghum Team Builds Demand in China

China’s surging imports of U.S. sorghum is one of 2014’s top trade success stories, and a U.S. Grains Council (USGC) team is visiting China this week to help sustain that momentum in 2015.

In the 2013/2014 marketing year, China imported 4.2 million metric tons (165 million bushels) of U.S. sorghum accounting for 87 percent of U.S. global exports. This year is guaranteed to be another big year, with China having outstanding sales and accumulated exports of more than 4.8 million tons (189 million bushels) as of Jan. 8, 2015, for the 2014/2015 marketing year.

“China’s demand for coarse grains is significant,” said Bryan Lohmar, USGC director in China. “The Council and the U.S. sorghum industry have worked hard for three years to introduce sorghum as a new option for China’s producers. This program has begun to yield very impressive results, and we expect China to remain a robust market for U.S. sorghum in the future."

China road showThe Council-led team met this week with swine and poultry producers, representatives of the feed industry and traders to discuss the U.S. sorghum supply, demand and pricing situations and the optimal use of sorghum in livestock rations. The team also presented half-day seminars in Guangzhou and Nanning to more than 200 Chinese nutritionists and livestock producers. 

“This is a team effort between the Council, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and Texas Grain Sorghum Association,” said Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade and USGC’s staff lead on sorghum export programs.

“We have worked hard for more than three years to put sorghum on the map in China and the growth we have seen is a direct result of these efforts.”

Mexico and Japan are the traditional top destinations for sorghum and remain significant markets in which the Council is working with users of the grain. With an abundant corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) supply, and a sorghum industry eager to expand production and exports, the United States is well positioned to meet rising demand in all markets.

Click here to view more photos from this mission.