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China Makes Its Fifth Largest Purchase of U.S. Corn, While Brazil Soybean Exports Hit Monthly Record on Chinese Buying

Bloomberg writers Breanna T Bradham, Michael Hirtzer, and Dominic Carey reported on Friday that, “China made one of its biggest purchases of corn in U.S. history, a sign that its buying spree of grain off of world markets isn’t over.

“China Extends Historic Corn-Buying Spree With U.S. Purchase,” by Breanna T Bradham, Michael Hirtzer, and Dominic Carey. Bloomberg News (May 7th, 2021).

“The Asian country bought 1.36 million metric tons for the marketing year that begins Sept. 1, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That comes on top of more than 20 million tons it already bought in the current season as it looks to rebuild a growing hog herd that was previously decimated by African swine flu.”

The Bloomberg article noted that, “Chinese buying has been a key factor in driving global grain prices to multiyear highs. Bloomberg had earlier reported that China purchased corn for shipment in the fourth quarter. Bad weather, especially the drought that’s currently threatening Brazil’s corn crop, is also adding to worries that a supply crunch is coming.”

And Reuters News reported late last week that, “Chinese buyers bought 1.36 million tonnes of U.S. corn, matching their seventh biggest ever purchase of U.S. supplies of the grain, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday.

“The deal comes after China issued guidelines in April recommending the reduction of corn and soymeal in pig and poultry feed. Corn prices have surged to their highest in more than eight years on concerns about a tightening global supply base due to strong demand in biofuels and dry conditions in key growing areas of Brazil.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg writers Fabiana Batista and Dominic Carey reported on Friday that, “China’s appetite sent Brazil soybean exports to a record high in April, with the Asian nation working to feed its growing hog herd just as planted area for the oilseed may drop.

Brazil shipped 12.6 million metric tons to China in April, a 19% jump from a year earlier and the most in a single month in data going back to 1997, according to Brazilian Trade Ministry data published on Thursday.

The volume shipped to all destinations also hit a record in April, surpassing the previous high by 2.5 million metric tons.”

“Brazil Soybean Shipments Surge to Record Led by Huge China Haul,” by Fabiana Batista and Dominic Carey. Bloomberg News (May 7th, 2021).

And Reuters writers Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton reported late last week that, “China’s soybean imports in April rose 11% from the same month a year earlier, boosted by the arrival of some delayed Brazilian cargoes, customs data showed on Friday.

“China, the world’s top importer of soybeans, brought in 7.45 million tonnes of the oilseed in April, up from 6.714 million tonnes a year earlier, according to General Administration of Customs data.”

“Chinese crushers have stepped up purchases of soybeans from top exporters Brazil and the United States in the early months of 2021, expecting higher demand as the country’s pig herd recovers,” the Reuters article said.

The Reuters writers added that, “In the first four months of the year, China brought in 28.63 million tonnes of soybeans, up 17% from the same period in the previous year, customs data showed.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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