Low prices, strong policies increase overseas interest in US corn

A new free trade agreement with Colombia has boosted sales of U.S corn this year.
A new free trade agreement with Colombia has boosted sales of U.S corn this year. | File photo

Low prices and strong policies are making United States corn much more appealing to international markets in Colombia, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan. 

For example, 20.7 million bushels were recently bought by groups in Korea.

“U.S. corn in our market is more competitively priced than that from South America,” U.S. Grains Council Director in Korea Haksoo Kim said. “When taking into account availability, quality and price, U.S. corn is expected to maintain an edge in the Korean market at least until May when Brazil’s second crop corn will potentially create new dynamics.”

In Mexico, price competition has dramatically raised interest in U.S. corn purchases.

“Mexico has been a long-time, very good customer of U.S. corn and feed grains,” USGC Director in Mexico Ryan LeGrand said. “Sales this year are showing the influence of the country’s growing feed sector, which is increasing demand for corn and other coarse grains that the United States can easily supply.”

A new free trade agreement with Colombia has boosted sales of U.S corn this year and Colombia hopes to be on track to fill its duty-free quota this year.

“In January, Colombia’s duty-free quota reset, and U.S. corn once again had the advantage that is leading to an uptick in their purchases,” USGC Regional Director for the Western Hemisphere Marri Carrow said. “As of March 23, Colombia had purchased almost 1.3 million tons (51.2 million bushels) of U.S. corn during calendar year 2016, which is more than 50 percent of their duty-free quota.”

In Taiwan, sales increased after USGC Senior Director of Global Programs Cary Sifferath visited the country.

“During this visit, we were able to meet with several high-ranking government officials and key industry leaders,” USGC Director in Taiwan Clover Chang said. “The Taiwanese decision-makers were able to get their questions answered about U.S. corn production, supply, prices and quality, which helped build their confidence in the U.S. supply and eventually lead to these purchases.”

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