Stronger Demand Leads to Brisk Exports of U.S. Grains

January 24, 2017

Stronger Demand Leads to Brisk Exports of U.S. Grains

Jan 24, 2017

Key Issues:Trade

Exports of U.S. feed grains have a promising outlook after the completion of the first quarter of the 2016/2017 marketing year, according to recently published U.S. Department of Agriculture trade data.


Total exports of feed grains in all forms in September, October and November 2016 reached 1.1 billion bushels, up 32 percent from the same quarter last year.


The feed grains in all forms calculation takes into account the grain equivalent of the value-added and processed forms of feed grains as well as unprocessed grains. Sharply higher exports of corn (up 83 percent) and ethanol (up 85 percent) and moderately higher beef (up 19 percent), pork (up 15 percent) and poultry (up 13 percent) exports offset lower shipments of barley (down 82 percent), sorghum (down 60 percent) and distiller's dried grains with solubles (down four percent) in this timeframe.


The strong first quarter and USDA's latest full-year forecasts for many of the product categories indicate that worldwide U.S. shipments of grains in all forms in 2016/2017 could be higher than the past marketing year, even reaching a new record high.


U.S. exports of corn during the first quarter of the new marketing year reached 550.4 million bushels. In those three months, Mexico, Japan and South Korea were the top three customers of U.S. corn, respectively.


Mexico imported 18 percent more in the current year’s first quarter – from 109.4 million bushels in the 2015/2016 marketing year to 128.9 million bushels. U.S. corn exports to Japan rose 72 percent from 64.5 million bushels to 110.6 million bushels. South Korea imported 62.4 million bushels, up from just 2.7 million bushels during the same period in the previous marketing year. Other countries increasing imports included Peru, Nicaragua, Panama, Taiwan and Indonesia.


U.S. ethanol exports in the first quarter reached 353 million gallons, up 85 percent from the same quarter last year, and 126.4 million bushels of corn equivalent. The primary reason for this strong performance was the competitiveness of U.S. ethanol compared to its main competitor, Brazil.


The top three U.S. ethanol customers for this quarter included Brazil, Canada and China, respectively, with other top ten markets showing sizable gains from last year including India, Peru, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Nigeria. The cumulative-to-date volume of U.S. ethanol exports for the 2016/2017 marketing year is more than 40 percent of the previous marketing year’s total volume of 868.3 million metric tons.


Exports of DDGS totaled 3 million metric tons, down slightly by 3.2 percent from 3.12 million metric tons in last year’s first quarter. Exports to Vietnam and Mexico remained strong with 487,000 and 451,000 metric tons sold, respectively.


The U.S. Grains Council’s global staff is continuing its marketing push to increase near-term sales and, ultimately, help support farmer price in a time of high production and an unsure farm economy. This work compliments the long-term demand building work done by the Council in more than 50 countries for grain and grain products.


The National Corn Growers Association, a founding member of USGC, works collaboratively with the Council to help grow overseas markets. To learn more about USGC, visit


This story is used with permission of the U.S. Grains Council and originally posted to its website January 19, 2017.