USDA sees dramatic increase in U.S. exports of feed grain

by Holly Demaree
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U.S. feed exports
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Source: U.S. Grains Council
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) export data for the month of September, the first in the 2016-17 marketing year, showed a dramatic increase in exports of feed grains in all forms, a bright spot in the overall challenging farm economy.

Total feed grains in all forms — which includes corn, sorghum, barley, meats, ethanol and distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) — in September were up nearly 34% from September 2015.

With 10.7 million tonnes, or 421 million bushels, of feed grains in one form or another exported, the month was also one of the strongest for exports in recent memory and a hopeful way to begin the new year for farmers and agribusinesses looking at record grain crops.

U.S. corn exports in September increased 89% to 6.3 million tonnes, or 248 million bushels, from year ago levels; shipments to Japan, South Korea, Peru and Taiwan more than doubled. The top three customers for U.S. corn in September 2016 were Japan, Mexico and South Korea, respectfully.

Exports of U.S. ethanol also rose sharply as monthly exports hit almost 100 million gallons for the first time since December 2011, up 59% from the previous September and representing 903,000 tonnes, or 35 million bushels, of corn equivalent.

This boom included a return of China to the market after three months of no denatured shipments at all. Overall, Canada, Brazil and China ranked as the top three destinations for U.S. ethanol, and all three saw significant gains from a year ago. Ethanol exports to Singapore and the Philippines increased two fold.

U.S. exports of all three meats included in feed grains in all forms calculations — beef, pork and poultry — also experienced gains in September, with product weight shipments exceeding 600,000 tonnes, up 14% from the previous year. These shipments equated to more than 1.8 million tonnes, or 71 million bushels, of feed grains.

Exports of U.S. corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal (CGFM) rose almost 10% from September 2015. More than 153,000 tonnes of CGFM were exported in September 2016 as opposed to more than 139,000 tonnes in September 2015.

Not every product category experienced an increase in September. Exports of DDGS decreased 14% from the same time last year, from more than 1.15 million tonnes to 990,000 tonnes. This was due largely to reduced sales to China, last year's top market.

U.S. sorghum exports in September dropped 63% from last year, totaling 410,000 tonnes, or 16 million bushels, also due to reduced sales to China.

U.S. exports of barley dropped 89% in September from year-ago levels to 1,700 tonnes, or 78,000 bushels.
 
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