As more and more Chinese buyers target farmland in Texas, local agricultural property agents have started learning more about Sino-U.S. trade and Chinese culture, according to Minor Taylor, a farmland agent in Bay City, Houston, said he has felt the need to learn about Chinese market demand, as the number of Chinese buyers has spiked in the last few years. Taylor said Chinese investors have mostly bought farmland that historically produced sorghum or soybeans, and that bundles of alfalfa have recently been transported back to China as cattle feed…Full Article: Sept 2015

Key Points

  • In August 2015, a Chinese buyer inked a deal to purchase 5,000 acres (~2,023 ha) of Texan farmland for more than US$20 million. The farmland will reportedly be used to grow and export sorghum for use in the production of liquor (e.g. baijiu).
  • From 2011 to 2015, Chinese buyers have purchased more than 50,000 acres (~20,234 ha) worth of farmland from a real estate agent based in Bay City, Houston.

ChinaAg Comments

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