Outstanding export sales for 2022/23 corn are well below levels seen by this point in the previous two seasons, but it’s worth noting that then China was buying U.S. corn well beyond its usual practice. This year, China had ordered almost 3.0 MMT of new-crop corn as of Aug. 4, a lot more than its historical average before the 2020 trade agreement and a lot less than as of Aug. 5, 2021 (10.7 MMT) and Aug. 6, 2020 (5.7 MMT). The current tension between the U.S. and China and the slow reopening of grain trade out of Ukraine could keep a damper on China’s demand for U.S. corn.

Before China became a more active importer of U.S. corn, Mexico accounted for most new-crop pre-sales. This year, orders as of Aug. 4 were around average at 2.6 MMT, although orders were low (less than 6,000 MT) during that week. Next-marketing-year sales to Mexico are usually very active in August, with the volume of orders often rising 40 percent or more over the course of the month.

Outstanding export sales of new-crop corn to China

Source: USDA


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