Based on figures provided Oct. 5 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and analyzed by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the U.S. exported 114.1 million metric tons 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 bu.) of U.S. corn were exported in the marketing year, USGC noted. The 21% year-over-year increase was driven by purchases made by long-term trading partners such as Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as well as increased exports to markets like Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Peru.
Record-setting U.S. ethanol sales surged even higher, with 1.37 billion gal. (488 million bu. in corn equivalent) exported, a 34% year-over-year increase driven by increased exports to Brazil and India.
The corn equivalent of beef, pork and poultry meat exports also had a double-digit jump compared to the previous marketing year, with an export total of 22.9 million tons (901.5 million bu.) of corn equivalent exported in the form of meat.
Additionally, USGC said the quantity of U.S. exports of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) stayed steady with the previous marketing year, at 12.9 million tons exported.
“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,” USGC said.
In contrast, U.S. exports of both sorghum and barley declined in the 2016-17 marketing year, primarily due to decreases in the exportable supply. With continued purchases by Mexico, China and other buyers, U.S. sorghum exports totaled 6.04 million tons (238 million bu.), a 30% drop over the year but still greater than the prior five-year average of 5.3 million tons (209 million bu.).
U.S. barley exports totaled nearly 114,000 tons (5.22 million bu.), with important purchases for Japan's food barley market as well as brewers in Mexico.
As the books officially close on the 2016-17 marketing year, USGC said it continues its work to support U.S. agricultural producers by identifying short-term market opportunities and building long-term demand for the bushels of grain they harvest as well as co-products like DDGS and ethanol.