Despite all the hue and cry about food shortages, the United States is exporting more corn than ever before.
According to the latest USDA forecast, U.S. agricultural exports are expected to reach a record $108.5 billion for fiscal year 2008. The new numbers represent a $7.5 billion increase from February’s previous record forecast and $26.5 billion above the final 2007 exports. Grains and animal products account for two-thirds of the export gains.
According to Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, “America’s increased export volume in bulk commodities like corn, other animal feeds and soybeans make agriculture the bright spot in the overall balance of trade. U.S. producers are on track to export a record 63 million tons of corn, and set new export volume and value records for pork. Export volumes and values are also up for many horticultural products with sales growth to Canada and the European Union being exceptionally strong.”
One of the biggest export market growth areas is China. U.S. exports to China are forecast to reach a record $10.5 billion, up almost $3.4 billion from 2007 levels.
China will be a topic at the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference this week. Scott Rozelle, a Helen Farnsworth Endowed Professor at Stanford University, will speak about “Corn in China in This Time of Global Uncertainty.”
Rozelle’s presentation will cover China’s trade policy, corn research and development, supply and demand, and more. “As incomes grow, as migrations happen, the demand for meat and other livestock product rises,” Rozelle said. “China just cannot produce the amount of feed it needs, so in the long term China is going to be a really good market.”
Point here is that U.S. corn growers continue to meet the demands of producing food for the world.