Chile turning to U.S. for more wheat, corn

by Eric Schroeder
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United States now the No. 1 supplier of crops to Chile.
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The United States has risen to the top as the No. 1 supplier of wheat and corn to Chile, according to a March 30 report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In the report, the USDA noted that area planted to both wheat and corn decreased in Chile during the 2016-17 marketing year, reflecting anticipated droughts that led farmers to plant less.

With less planted area to the crops, the United States has staked claim to a larger share of Chile’s import market. In the case of wheat, U.S. wheat exports to Chile in the 2015-16 marketing year reached 373,000 tonnes, up 100% from 186,000 tonnes in the 2014-15 marketing year. As a result of the sharp gain, the United States has overtaken Canada as the main supplier of wheat to Chile, and now supplies 40% of the market, the USDA said.

“Competitive U.S. wheat prices and consistent quality (high gluten content) are the key reasons behind the surge in U.S. exports,” the USDA said.

Canada was the second largest supplier of wheat to Chile, holding a 31% market share, followed by Argentina at 15% and Peru at 2%, according to the USDA.

Meanwhile, competitive U.S. corn prices have contributed to the United States accumulating a 56% share of Chile’s import market. As is the case in wheat, the United States is the main corn supplier to the country, followed by Argentina at 37% and Paraguay at 7%.  Overall, Chile’s corn imports increased by 13.3% in the 2015-16 marketing year, climbing to 1.5 million tonnes, according to the USDA. Forecasts call for imports to increase another 13% in the 2016-17 marketing year, climbing to 1.697 million tonnes, the USDA said.
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