U.S. Sorghum Exports Projected to Be 10 Times Larger Than In 2011/2012

sorghum powder puff piece
This chart illustrates that projected U.S. sorghum exports for the 2014/2015 marketing year are expected to be 10 times larger than just a few years ago.

This week’s U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Chart of Note illustrates that projected U.S. sorghum exports for the 2014/2015 marketing year are expected to be 10 times larger than just a few years ago, during the 2011/2012 marketing year. This sizeable increase is mostly attributable to China, which has had surging demand since receiving its first bulk shipment on Oct. 13, 2013.

“In 2011, the Council along with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) recognized China’s potential demand for U.S. sorghum and, in 2012, we provided technical seminars and assistance to help the industry understand the value of U.S. sorghum,” said USGC Manager of Global Trade Alvaro Cordero. “Since then, China’s demand for sorghum has grown to unprecedented levels.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (USDA) report released in April bumped U.S. sorghum exports up by 1.2 million metric tons (50 million bushels) from its March projections, to a total of 8.8 million tons (350 million bushels).

“Conservative estimates indicate U.S. sorghum growers will plant 7.9 million acres, an increase of 11 percent over last year, to meet this growing demand,” Cordero said. “If these estimates are accurate, even with the increased supply and domestic use decreasing slightly, ending stocks will only be 457,000 tons (18 million bushels), a decrease of more than 50 percent from last year. This means that USDA is estimating almost 75 percent of this year’s sorghum crop will be exported.”

While these reports are strictly estimates for the coming marketing year, the Council believes there are still opportunities for growth in the Chinese feed grain market and will continue its efforts in China to build awareness of U.S. sorghum’s value to buyers and end-users.