Based on figures provided Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and analyzed by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the United States exported 114.1 million metric tons of feed grains in all forms (GIAF) from September 2016 to August 2017, a 12 increase from the prior year and a new record for the category.
U.S. corn exports realized substantial gains with the most exports since 2007/2008, as 58.1 million tons (2.29 billion bushels) of U.S. corn were exported in the marketing year. The 21 percent increase year-over-year was driven by purchases by long-term trading partners including Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as well as increased exports to markets like Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Peru.
Record-setting U.S. ethanol exports surged even higher with 1.37 billion gallons (488 million bushels in corn equivalent) exported, a 34 percent increase year-over-year driven by increased exports to Brazil and India.
The corn equivalent of beef, pork and poultry meat exports also hit a double-digit jump compared to the previous marketing year with an export total of 22.9 million tons (901.5 million bushels) of corn equivalent exported in the form of meat.
Additionally, the quantity of U.S. exports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) stayed steady with the previous marketing year with 12.9 million tons in exports. The global market for U.S. DDGS diversified significantly with increased purchasing by numerous customers including Mexico, Turkey, South Korea, Canada and even New Zealand. The increases offset a substantial decrease by the top two traditional buyers - China and Vietnam - which faced policy challenges.
In contrast, U.S. exports of both sorghum and barley declined in the 2016/2017 marketing year, primarily due to a decrease in exportable supply. Due to continued purchases by Mexico, China and other buyers, U.S. sorghum exports totaled 6.04 million tons (238 million bushels), a 30 percent drop year-over-year but still greater than the prior five-year average of 5.3 million tons (209 million bushels).
U.S. barley exports totaled nearly 114,000 tons (5.22 million bushels) with important purchases by the Japanese food barley market as well as brewers in Mexico.
As the books officially close on the 2016/2017 marketing year, the Council is continuing its work to support U.S. agricultural producers by identifying short-term market opportunities and building long-term demand for the bushels of grain they harvest as well as co-products like DDGS and ethanol.