USGC Beijing Office Educates End Users On U.S. Corn And Sorghum Markets

Importers and end users of U.S. grains across China joined the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Beijing office last week to discuss current U.S. corn and sorghum markets, harvest progress, planting and quality information.

“China’s role as the leading export market for U.S. sorghum has returned, and China will import more than half of all U.S. sorghum produced in the current crop year,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC’s president and CEO, in his opening remarks at the event.

“It’s also well known that China’s imports of U.S. corn surpassed all expectations in recent months. With more than 20 million metric tons (787 million bushels) shipped to China so far in the current crop year, and over 10 million metric tons (394 million bushels) contracted so far for next year, their imports in the current crop year make China by far the biggest importer of U.S. corn ever, surpassing Mexico, our former top customer, by about 30 percent.”

Bryan Lohmar, director of USGC’s Beijing office, facilitated the event, leading discussions with USGC members and employees on export cargo quality, planting progress, market outlook and crop size and condition. Members from the Texas Sorghum Association and the Kansas Sorghum Association updated the group on sorghum growing and harvest conditions, while farmers from the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Illinois Farm Bureau provided corn condition updates.

“The U.S.-China relationship is complex and sometimes difficult, but also important and beneficial to both countries in many respects,” Lohmar said. “U.S. agricultural exports are playing a key role in keeping both countries focused on the mutually-beneficial component of the bilateral relationship as the two sides work through their differences. The U.S. is well positioned to support China’s overall food security in the future.”

Across the board, U.S. grains are on track to have a successful year, anticipating large export numbers, the third-largest corn yield in history and the largest sorghum crop since 2016. However, it could be March 2022 before freight rates stabilize and possibly decline.

The Council’s office in China has held activities for importers and end users of U.S. corn and sorghum on an ongoing basis throughout the period of pandemic travel restrictions, which have proven successful as China has become the number one international customer for corn and sorghum. China has purchased more than 30 million metric tons (MMT) (1 billion bushels) of U.S. corn and over 8 MMT (315 bushels) of U.S. sorghum since the implementation the Phase One trade deal between the U.S. and China in February 2020.

The Council remains committed to working with partners in China to build a long-lasting, stable and mutually beneficial trade relationship in corn, sorghum and co-products.

Learn more about the Council’s work in China.