New USDA data shows that US exports of sorghum to China reached a 19-year high in one week last month to meet Chinese demand for cheaper alternatives to corn for livestock feed, US sorghum experts said. Figures released by the US Department of Agriculture on Monday showed that the US exported 584,324 metric tons of sorghum in the week ending Dec 18. Of that, 332,867 metric tons went to China, which made up more than half the total exports…Full Article: China Daily Jan 2015

Key Points

  • According to the Executive Director of the Texas Grain Sorghum Board, China first imported US sorghum in October 2013 as a substitute for corn which is used for animal feed. In November 2013 China began rejecting US corn over reported concerns of GMO contamination (see MIR 162).
  • China has a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) of 3 million MTs for corn, after which tariffs will rise 65% on all corn imports. According to the article, this will make sorghum grain approximately US$100 per MT cheaper versus corn once the TRQ has been reached.
  • Approximately one-third of Chinese imports of US sorghum is used in the production of baijiu, a traditional Chinese spirit.

ChinaAg Comment

  • In 2010 and 2012, China’s sorghum grain imports totaled approximately 83,259 MTs and 86,602 MTs, respectively (2011 only 50 MTs was imported). Australia was the primary supplier, with Burma acting as a small secondary supplier in 2010. In 2013, China imported more than 1 million MTs of sorghum grain. Australia accounted for 760,980 MTs of this amount, while the US comprised the remaining 317,020 MTs (shipped to southern China).

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