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Pushing the Record on Corn Exports

Due to continued strong overseas demand, U.S. corn exports could be the second-largest ever this trade year, says USDA, pegging shipments at 61 million tonnes for 2017/2018. The record is 61.8 million tonnes in 1979/1980.

“Exports by key competitors (mainly Brazil, Argentina, and, to a lesser extent, Ukraine) have been slower than anticipated,” said Foreign Agricultural Service analysts in a July World Markets and Trade report.

Drought reduced Argentina’s corn supply, and high prices for corn from Ukraine deterred its sales. Soybeans have shouldered aside corn at Brazilian ports in the rush to capitalize on soybean sales to China. U.S. corn exports were far above average this spring and early summer, with a large amount of corn under contract and waiting for shipment by the September 30 end of the trade year. 

“The strength in exports, however, is currently forecast to diminish year over year in 2018/2019, as both importing and exporting countries adjust to trade dynamics,” said the FAS. Its forecast for the new trade year is 56.5 million tonnes.


This article was produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent, nonprofit news organization producing investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.


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