Chinese Corn, Sorghum And DDGS Team Investigates U.S. Production And Quality

china corn team
The Chinese trade team visited with farmers in Iowa and Kansas. Here, the team talks with Mike Paustian in Iowa to learn about his swine operation and corn production.

A team of Chinese buyers of corn, sorghum and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) traveled to the United States last month to investigate crop production and quality as well as gain a better understanding of U.S. feed grains and co-products as a valuable feed ingredient. 

A team of Chinese buyers of corn, sorghum and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) traveled to the United States last month to investigate crop production and quality as well as gain a better understanding of U.S. feed grains and co-products as a valuable feed ingredient. 

The team, organized by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), traveled from Iowa to Kansas, ending travels in New Orleans, Louisiana. The tour encompassed the entirety of the U.S. marketing system from farms to export facilities, including visits to corn and sorghum operations, ethanol plants, country elevators, container trans-loading facilities and export terminals. 

“This team marks the first time in a few years we have brought a buying team to major corn producing areas,” said Bryan Lohmar, USGC director in China. “Teams like these allow participants to see for themselves the efficiency of the logistics and marketing system in the United States.” 

The Chinese team also met with U.S. trading companies and trained for two days at the IGP Institute on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. The China Contracting Workshop focused on the U.S. grain production and marketing system, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grain standards, U.S. export grain inspections as well as contracting methods and vessel- and container-loading systems. 

China is an important market for U.S. feed grains, albeit a complex environment. The country was the top importer of U.S. sorghum in the 2016/2017 marketing year at 4.8 million metric tons (189 million bushels). China also purchased 807,000 metric tons (31.8 million bushels) of U.S. corn in 2016/2017, a 151 percent increase year-over-year, which follows Chinese changes to domestic corn policies. 

In January 2017, the Chinese government started enforcing anti-dumping and countervailing duties on U.S. DDGS. Despite the subsequent decline in purchases, China remained the fifth largest market for U.S. DDGS for the 2016/2017 marketing year, purchasing 739,000 metric tons total. 

“The team was very glad to see the good quality corn and sorghum crops this year,” said Yantian Zeng, USGC program manager in China who also traveled with the team. “Participants were very optimistic about sourcing more corn from the United States this year and in future years.” 

Learn more about the team’s tour of Kansas here
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