China has launched an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into imports of sorghum grown in the U.S., the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a statement on Sunday [4 February 2018]. “This is a normal case of trade remedy investigations,” said Wang Hejun, head of the ministry’s Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau…Full Article: Feb 2018

Key Point

  • China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) will carry out two investigations. The first will examine possible US sorghum dumping that occurred from November 2016 to October 2017. The second will encompass imports that occurred from January 2013 to October 2017 in order to determine the negative impact imports had on China’s sorghum industry. The investigations should be finished by February 2019, but could extend to August 2019.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In 2016, Chinese imports of US sorghum decreased to 5.38 million MTs.
  • From 2013 to 2015, Chinese imports of US sorghum increased from approximately 445,000 MTs to just over 9 million MTs. Texas was the largest exporter of US sorghum to China during this period.
  • From 2011 to 2015, Chinese buyers purchased more than 50,000 acres (~20,234 ha) worth of farmland from an real estate agent based in Bay City, Houston, Texas. In particular, in August 2015, a Chinese buyer inked a deal to purchase 5,000 acres (~2,023 ha) of Texan farmland for more than USD 20 million. The farmland will reportedly be used to grow and export sorghum for use in the production of liquor (e.g. baijiu). As of 2015, according to the US Grains Council, approximately 10% of Chinese sorghum imports are used to produce baijiu liquor.
  • From 2013 to 2014, Chinese sales of baijiu liquor rose 5.5%.
  • In 2013, China imported more than 1 million MTs of sorghum, with the bulk (760,980 MTs) arriving from Australia. The USA was the second largest supplier, but would surpass Australia in 2014.
  • 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 October 2013, according to the Executive Director of the Texas Grain Sorghum Board, China began importing US sorghum as a substitute for corn in its animal feed formulations.
  • From 2010 to 2012, China’s sorghum imports increased slightly from 83,259 MTs and 86,602 MTs. Australia was the primary supplier, with Myanmar (Burma) acting as a small secondary supplier.

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