WASHINGTON, DC, US — The US Department of Agriculture’s 24-hour export reporting service on Jan. 28 said China purchased another 1.7 million tonnes of US corn for delivery in 2020-21. Including this transaction, US exporters have reported sales of corn to China thus far this week of 3.74 million tonnes.

According to the USDA’s most recent weekly Export Sales report, issued Jan. 28 and not including this week’s transaction, accumulated exports and undelivered sales of US corn to China through Jan. 21 for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year totaled 11,844,600 tonnes. That total compared with 60,900 tonnes as the aggregate for delivery in 2019-20 recorded a year earlier.

The USDA in its January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report issued Jan. 12 forecast China to import 17.5 million tonnes of corn from all origins in 2020-21, up 9.9 million tonnes, or 130%, from 7.6 million tonnes in 2019-20 and compared with 4.48 million tonnes in 2018-19.

But China corn import forecasts from both private and other USDA sources indicated Chinese corn imports will be much higher in 2020-21 than the current USDA outlook.

The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service post in Beijing forecast China’s 2020-21 corn imports at 22 million tonnes, 4.5 million tonnes higher than the USDA official forecast “due to continued strong import demand fueled by high domestic prices, the need and drive to restock grain reserves, and growth in feed consumption.”