China likes its baijiu, which is becoming more popular around the world. A byproduct of that demand is a booming US export market for sorghum. Sorghum exports this year are expected to make up 62 percent of the total amount harvested, the highest proportion since 1975, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service. The department projects sorghum plantings to increase by nearly 400,000 acres this year to 7.5 million…Full Article: China Daily Apr 2015

Key Points

  • From 2013 to 2014, Chinese sales of baijiu liquor rose 5.5%.
  • According to the US Grains Council, approximately 10% of Chinese sorghum imports are used to produce baijiu.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2013 China began rejecting US corn over reported concerns of GMO contamination (see MIR 162). The corn ban had a positive effect on Chinese sorghum imports (used as a substitute good).
  • 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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