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Graph courtesy of the USGC.
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. —U.S. exports of feed grains in all forms increased 33% year-over-year in the first six months of the 2016-17 marketing year, according to recently published trade data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and analysis by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

That data showed the United States exported more than 56.6 million tonnes of feed grains in all forms — a calculation that measures grain products in corn equivalent — from September 2016 to February 2017, compared to 42.5 million tonnes during the same time the prior marketing year.

Leading the increase, exports of U.S. corn increased 71% year-on-year during the first half of the marketing year to 27.8 million tonnes (1.09 billion bushels) compared to 16.3 million tonnes (641.7 million bushels) the year prior, USGC said. Exports as of February 2016 represented 58% of last marketing year’s total volume.

In addition, exports of U.S. meat produced with feed grains, including beef, pork and poultry, increased from 9.9 million tonnes (389.7 million bushels) to 11.5 million tonnes (452.7 million bushels) in corn equivalent year-over-year, an increase of 15%, according to USGC’s analysis.

U.S. ethanol exports during 2016-17 as of February 2017 also increased substantially during the first six months of the marketing year, reaching 82% of the total volume for 2015-16 at 711 million gallons (6.45 million tonnes or 253.9 million bushels in corn equivalent). That volume represents a 66% increase year-over-year, up from last marketing year’s 428 million gallons (3.88 million tonnes or 152.7 million bushels in corn equivalent) during the same time frame.

U.S. exports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) also increased slightly at 3% year-over-year despite trade disruptions in two major markets, China and Vietnam, the USGC said. U.S. DDGS exports totaled 5.9 million tonnes in the first six months of the 2016-17 marketing year, compared to 5.7 million tonnes the prior year.

While overall feed grain exports increased, exports of both sorghum and barley declined in the first six months of the 2016-17 marketing year. U.S. sorghum exports decreased year-on-year from 5 million tonnes (196.8 million bushels) to 3.4 million tonnes (133.9 million bushels), the USGC said. Smaller purchases by China drove the sharp decline. U.S. barley exports decreased year-over-year from nearly 143,000 tonnes (6.57 million bushels) to about 41,000 tonnes (1.88 million bushels) due to a decline in U.S. exports to Mexico.