CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, US – The US government announced on April 4 that China recently purchased 1.084 million tonnes of US corn, its largest purchase since May 2021.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the deal was for 676,000 tonnes of corn to be delivered in the 2021-22 marketing year that ends Aug. 31 and for 408,000 tonnes to be delivered in 2022-23.

The deal comes on the heels of a USDA report that US farmers intend to reduce corn plantings this spring because of the high price of inputs such as fertilizer and fuel. Corn requires more fertilizer than soybeans.

Also impacting global corn supplies is the war in Ukraine, the world’s fourth biggest corn exporter. Since the Russian invasion in late February, Ukrainian ports have been shut down, severely limiting the country’s ability to export grain.

China recently approved new regulations to allow the planting of genetically modified (GM) seeds, which will boost domestic production of corn and soybeans. The Chinese government has stated that it wants to become less dependent on grain imports, particularly corn and soybeans.