US grain exports
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Graph courtesy of USGC.

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. – Based on figures provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and analyzed by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the U.S. exported 114.1 million tonnes of feed grains in all forms (GIAF) from September 2016 to August 2017, a 12% increase from the prior year and a new record for the category. U.S. corn exports realized substantial gains with the most exports since 2007-08, as 58.1 million tons (2.29 billion bushels) of U.S. corn were exported in the marketing year. The 21% increase year-over-year was driven by purchases by long-term trading partners, including Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as well as increased exports to markets like Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Peru. Record-setting U.S. ethanol exports surged even higher with 1.37 billion gallons (488 million bushels in corn equivalent) exported, a 34% increase year-over-year driven by increased exports to Brazil and India. The corn equivalent of beef, pork and poultry meat exports also hit a double-digit jump compared to the previous marketing year with an export total of 22.9 million tonnes (901.5 million bushels) of corn equivalent exported in the form of meat.  Additionally, the quantity of U.S. exports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) stayed steady with the previous marketing year with 12.9 million tonnes in exports. According to the USGC, the global market for U.S. DDGS diversified significantly with increased purchasing by numerous customers, including Mexico, Turkey, South Korea, Canada and even New Zealand. The increases offset a substantial decrease by the top two traditional buyers — China and Vietnam — which faced policy challenges.  In contrast, U.S. exports of both sorghum and barley declined in the 2016-17 marketing year, primarily due to a decrease in exportable supply. Due to continued purchases by Mexico, China and other buyers, U.S. sorghum exports totaled 6.04 million tonnes (238 million bushels), a 30% drop year-over-year but still greater than the prior five-year average of 5.3 million tonnes (209 million bushels). U.S. barley exports totaled nearly 114,000 tonnes (5.22 million bushels) with important purchases by the Japanese food barley market as well as brewers in Mexico.