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Research Compares U.S. and Ukrainian Corn Exports Logistics

For most of 2015-19, Ukraine was the dominant supplier of corn to China

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service recently summarized research conducted in cooperation with North Dakota State University.

The research, Logistical Competition for Corn Shipments from the United States and Ukraine to Targeted International Markets, examines and compares the relative advantages and disadvantages of the U.S. and Ukraine in major corn export markets.

Both countries had advantages in major markets. From 2015-19, the U.S. had a logistical cost advantage over Ukraine in serving China and South Korea (from the U.S. Gulf) and Japan (from the Pacific Northwest (PNW)).

For most of the 2015-19 study period, however, Ukraine was the dominant supplier of corn to China.

The study's authors suggest Ukraine’s dominance probably reflects China’s goal of diversification, its willingness to pay a premium for non-U.S. origin corn, and its desire for less transparent trading mechanisms.

Ukraine had a cost advantage over the U.S. in serving the European Union (EU) and Indonesia.

That advantage, however, mostly derived from the EU’s extra 25% tariff applied to corn imports from the U.S., as well as from the EU’s restrictions against genetically engineered corn imports.

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