US Corn and Barley: Bright Future in Japan

Things are looking up for U.S. corn and barley in Japan.

According to a U.S. Grains Council contact, the U.S. corn market share in Japan will likely rebound to 60 to 70 percent in early 2014 — a significant improvement from 2012.

Council programming promotes the United States as a long-term, reliable supplier of high-quality corn and helps to reinvigorate the strong U.S.-Japan agricultural ties.

“With support from our funding members, the Council is able to bring U.S. corn farmers and Japanese corn customers to the same table to discuss their mutual goals in terms of food security,” said USGC Director in Japan Tommy Hamamoto. “This resonates well with the Japan’s major buyers. These programs help stimulate forward-thinking dialog as well as provide a positive vision for the future of Japan’s agriculture and U.S.-Japan agricultural trade.”

Corn is not the only sector with a bright outlook in Japan. Japan’s food barley industry is expected to purchase roughly 3,000 metric tons (138,000 bushels) of U.S. barley next year for cereal and flour uses, mostly through forward contracting. This is compared to around 1,000 to 2,000 tons (46,000 to 92,000 bushels) of U.S. barley in recent years.

“The Japanese barley food sector is growing,” Hamamoto said. “In the next couple years the sector is predicted to expand its use of barley by 5,000 to 6,000 tons (230,000 to 276,000 bushels) per year, which U.S. barley has the opportunity to benefit from.”

The Council has helped foster the growth of the U.S. corn and barley market share in Japan and will continue to defend it. The Council will also work to expand Japan’s use of coarse grains.

About the U.S. Grains Council

The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at