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US corn exports to China in June exceed 2018-19 shipments

US corn shipments to China in June surpassed the total volume of US corn exported to the Asian nation during the entire 2018-19 marketing season (September-August), indicating China continues to show intentions to fulfill its commitments under the multi-billion dollar Phase 1 trade deal.

The US shipped 273,646 mt of corn to China in June, more than double the shipments in the same period a year ago, according to data from the US Census Bureau released Aug. 5.

The US has shipped 464,263 mt of corn to China so far in the 2019-20 marketing season ending Aug. 31, with the shipments rising to a two-year high, the data showed.

China has been aggressively ramping up purchases of US agricultural goods in recent weeks as part of the deal finalized between the two countries earlier in 2020.

The USDA on July 30 reported corn export sales of 1.94 million mt for delivery to China in 2020-21, the highest since in the 2013-14 marketing season.

While export sales do not necessarily convert to actual shipments, they indicate fresh demand and commitments for the commodity.

In soybeans, China has been seen trying to match the pace of corn purchases seen in recent weeks.

As of July 23, the total outstanding sales to China for the 2020-21 marketing season (October-September) have reached 8.09 million mt, compared to just 194,000 mt during the same period last year.

The pace of US soybean exports to China in June doubled month on month, with 353,688 mt of beans shipped, according to Census Bureau data.

However, the shipments were below June 2019’s pace, mostly because the US had shipped the largest volume of beans to China in at least 10 years at 1.79 million mt.

As part of the Phase 1 deal, China agreed to buy $36.6 billion worth of agriculture goods in 2020, but still remains far off from the targets.

As of June, China’s imports of US agricultural goods were $8.7 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $18.3 billion, according to data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Global shipments

The US shipped out 2.28 million mt of wheat to global destinations, with the largest volume exported to the Philippines, followed by Mexico, Japan and China. Total shipments in June were slightly higher than June 2019, according to the data.

Corn exports out of the US totaled 5.18 million mt in June, up 75% from the same month a year ago. Mexico was the top destination for corn, with exports hitting 1.38 million mt.

US soybean exports in June totaled 1.80 million mt, slipping 45% over the same period last year, Census Bureau data showed.
Source: Platts

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