Preliminary (Aug. 25) data for the September-August 2010/2011 corn marketing year highlight some startling changes from the export patterns of the last decade, according to the U.S. Grains Council.
For a second year, China has bought significant volumes of corn. Though Chinese shipments are not likely to surpass its 2009/2010 purchases, they will still top 975,000 metric tons (76.9 million bushels) and make China the number eight U.S. corn market.
On the other hand, U.S. exports to Colombia continue to slide as the tariff on corn imports from Mercosur countries ratchets down, widening their tariff advantage over U.S. shipments. Once the 6th largest U.S. export market, Colombia’s U.S. purchases have declined from almost 3.3 million tons (128 million bushels) in 2006/2007 to 1 million tons (39.4 million bushels) in 2009/2010. This year’s U.S. sales currently total less than 550,000 tons (less than 22 million bushels).
On a more positive note, some European Union buyers returned this year. U.S. corn sales to Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal and Spain reached a cumulative 1 million tons (39.4 million bushels), making the EU the number six U.S. export market.
Finally, despite the disruption to shipping and agricultural production, Japanese corn purchases for 2011/2012 were running neck-and-neck with Japan’s previous year totals as of Aug. 25.
The top 10 U.S. markets for the market year (in descending order) are: Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Egypt, Taiwan, the E.U., Syria, China, Venezuela and Israel.