Grain Supply and Demand

Non-U.S. production of corn has grown rapidly from about 280 million metric tons (11 billion bushels) in 1990 to about 590 million tons (23 billion bushels) in the 2012/2013 year (Sept. 1 - Aug. 31). Total use has shown steady and maybe accelerating growth throughout the period. Feed use and non-feed use both contribute to total demand. The United States has enjoyed a strong market share in world corn imports until the last year when U.S. share dropped to about 18 percent due to a tight supply of U.S. corn following a severe drought in large parts of the U.S. corn belt.

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The chart above shows a look at non-U.S. corn exports. You will see global competition has grown rapidly over the last decade, led by South America (Argentina & Brazil) as the largest competitor in the global marketplace. Climate and converted pasture land allows a vast potential, while infrastructure and policy are its only constraint. The Black Sea region (Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan) is vast in land mass and resource base. The only constraints here are inconsistent climate conditions and policy. The rest of the world has limited potential. It is steady yet price sensitive with the biggest constraint of limited arable land.

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