Chart showing US commodity exports to China

Supply/Demand Basics

  • World’s 2nd largest corn producer and consumer.
  • World’s largest swine, aqua, egg, beer, and distilled sprit producer, 2nd largest poultry meat and corn ethanol producer and growing dairy and beef producer.
  • World’s largest sorghum importer in recent years; DDGS imports restricted by AD/CVD rules. Corn and sorghum imports gain from Phase One trade deal. Record corn and barley imports in CY 2021

Country Overview

Chart showing information on China's population

  • Though slowdown in some sectors, China’s overall economy recovered quickly from the previous year. GDP growth project at 5.3% in 2022 by IMF.
  • Urban residents consume more animal protein than their rural counterparts. Urbanization is expected to grow from 60% to over 70% in the next 5 years.
  • Corn feed demand has reduced somehow in recent years due to a relatively high corn prices and other feed substitutes such as feed barley, wheat and rice.
  • Overall feed demand continues to expand amid China’s economic growth, which is less impacted by COVID-19 as compared with other economies. 

Trade and Market Share Overview

  • China is again the largest importer of U.S. coarse grains (corn & sorghum) in MY 2020/2021 and carries the largest amount of U.S. corn forward contracted for MY 2021/2022. 
  • Imports of U.S. ethanol are subject to a 15 percent (232 tariff) that was not exempted in the Phase One deal, as well as a 30 percent tariff (the WTO bound rate) re-imposed at the end of 2016. 
  • DDGS exports still affected by AD/CV duties, but other constraints are addressed in Phase One deal.
  • A protocol for U.S. barley imports was completed in 2020; Minimal import was seen in 2021.

Policy Overview

  • While trade tension/uncertainties remain, the Phase One trade deal reduced tariffs and resolved many of the non-tariff barriers to exports, including the required GMO processing certificates and TRQ management for corn, the DDGS plant import licenses, and export facility registrations, and resulted in a U.S. barley export protocol.  
  • China scaled back its commitment to using E10 nationwide by 2020 due to reduced corn inventories, but there are still opportunities to advocate for low-carbon and renewable fuel benefits of E10.
  • Sell-sufficiency remains a focus in China’s grain and trade policies, China is also looking for   reliable and stable grain/oilseed suppliers. State trading is expected to play an increasing role in the coming years in grain trade. 

Graph showing the dollar value of US exports to China over time