BOGATA, COLOMBIA – With domestic corn consumption on the rise due to a growing demand in the animal feed industry, Colombia continues to see a steady increase in imports, according to an Oct. 24 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

USDA said Colombian corn consumption is forecast to rise to 6.9 million tonnes in 2018-19, an increase of 200,000 over the previous year as the country’s per capita animal protein consumption has increased significantly in recent years.

“Meat demand will continue to rise as sustained economic growth and the increase in the household income boost animal protein consumption,” USDA said. “For instance, pork and poultry consumption has dramatically increased during the last years. Per capita pork consumption has increased by 53% and by 37% in the case of chicken meat.

“Feed demand will continue to grow, primarily in the poultry sector, as Colombia’s economy remains strong and dietary shifts adjust to populations moving out of poverty into the low and middle-income classes.”

USDA forecasts 2018-19 corn imports at 5.2 million tonnes, up from 5.0 million the previous year.

“U.S. corn keeps being the primary option for Colombian importers as it remains price competitive due to trade preferences of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) and cheaper transportation costs compared to main competitors in South America,” it said. “Since the implementation of the CTPA in 2012, U.S. market share has increased to account for 99.7% of the Colombian corn import market.”

USDA forecasts Colombian corn production to remain stagnant in 2018-19 at 1.6 million tonnes, the same as in 2017-18.