IrinaSunnywind | BIGSTOCK

Jun 30, 2022

Expect China to Import Brazilian Corn

Because the war has made it difficult for Ukraine to produce and export corn, China is in need of another supplier

China’s demand for corn remains high, but because Ukraine’s ability to export the commodity has been complicated by the war, it is looking elsewhere for its corn.

And as of now, all signs point to China turning to Brazil to fill that gap, Erin Borror, economist for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), said during a June 30 webinar hosted by the National Pork Board.

Global corn supply down

Citing the most recent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) report, Borror said the global corn crop is expected to be down about 2% when compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, production in Ukraine is expected to be down about 41%. She added that Ukraine’s exports are expected to be down even further due to the war and lack of access to ports.

Borror said China has been “the biggest driver” of corn markets, and she emphasized that the U.S. and Ukraine have been the major suppliers of corn to China. However, another major corn producing country – Brazil – announced in late May that it was working on protocols to import Brazilian corn.

“This makes sense because in export expectations, you see that Brazil is where the growth is projected, and Brazil is expected to partially offset, and potentially completely offset that decrease in Ukrainian corn exports,” she said.

“They need another supplier for corn, and we’re watching for that Brazilian product to flow in their direction.”

More sorghum to China?

Another change for China Borror highlighted is its increased demand for sorghum as an alternative to corn as a feed ingredient.

She said one reason the Chinese view sorghum as advantageous over corn is that sorghum does not have tariff rate quota (TRQ) restrictions like corn does, so it is easier for the importers to handle it.

Borror said this change bodes well for the U.S. because presently about 60% of China’s sorghum imports come from the U.S.

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Marketwatch: Aug, 18

US Corn Price Idx: ZCPAUS.CM

open: 6.6945
high: 6.737
low: 6.6326
close: 6.6866

US Soybean Price Idx: ZSPAUS.CM

open: 14.3219
high: 14.4169
low: 14.2107
close: 14.3029

US Hard Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: KEPAUS.CM

open: 8.3035
high: 8.351
low: 7.9626
close: 8.0508

US Soft Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: ZWPAUS.CM

open: 7.3573
high: 7.4048
low: 7.0429
close: 7.0505