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Tracking U.S. grain exports in a year of high prices

As of April 21, U.S. exports of barley, corn and sorghum are tracking close to 2009/2010 export levels despite increases in grain prices.

As of April 21, U.S. exports of barley, corn and sorghum are tracking close to 2009/2010 export levels despite increases in grain prices.

For barley, accumulated exports plus outstanding sales total 100,700 metric tons (4.6 million bushels), a 6 percent increase over last year. That reflects major successes moving barley into Morocco and Tunisia, two markets that had purchased no barley last year.

The corn tally stands at 37.5 million metric tons (almost 1.5 billion bushels), down 2 percent. Sales are up in every region of the world except the western hemisphere, where purchases have dropped significantly in Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. 

Elsewhere, sales are up strongly in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, China, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia and Syria but down in South Korea and Taiwan. Despite the earthquake and tsunami, U.S. corn sales to Japan are running ahead of last year’s levels.

Sorghum exports plus outstanding sales, currently at 2.9 million tons (112.8 million bushels), are down 5 percent. That reflects a serious decline in sales to Mexico and Japan offset by very strong sales to European Union countries (especially Spain).

In the current August-September marketing year, exports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) total 4.37 million tons through February, a 25 percent increase from the same time period of the previous year.

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