Developing: China Could Make Biggest U.S. Corn Purchase In 7 Years

Brian Basting 031319

AgDay and U.S. Farm Report have unconfirmed information that China may purchase more than 3 million metric tons of U.S. Corn from the Pacific Northwest. It’s a rumor which has analysts glued to their computers until the next daily export report is released.

“There’s no confirmation yet of these sales [as of Wednesday afternoon],” said Brian Basting, an Economist with Advance Trading. “If it is a large quantity, it must be reported again by the USDA in its daily reporting system.”

If realized, the country hasn’t purchased that much corn from the United States since the 2011/2012 marketing year.

“The last time we did more than 3 million tons was in 2011/2012 crop year,” said Basting. “You have to go back 7 years. That year China bought a little over 5 million metric tons [for the whole entire year].”

Before that, China purchased more than 3 million metric tons back in the 1994/1995 marketing year.

“Right now, the export market looks quite weak,” said Basting. “That was probably a driving force behind this move to new lows. This would be a big deal if we can get if you will a ‘shot in the arm’ with some old crop business to China here in the near future.”

According to USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, also known as the WASDE report, corn exports are reduced 75 million bushels to 2.37 billion. The report says it reflects diminished U.S. price competitiveness and expectations of increased exports for Brazil and Argentina.

The U.S. Grains Council has not confirmed the purchase as of Wednesday afternoon.