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US loses top corn exporter spot to Brazil in 2019

New Delhi — The US -- historically the world's leading exporter of corn -- was overtaken by Brazil last year, according to export figures from the two countries.

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Brazil exported 43.5 million mt of corn in 2019, according to Conab, Brazil's national crop agency.

Meanwhile, the US exported 38.8 million mt of corn over January-November, according to the US Department of Agriculture's, Global Agricultural Trade System data while weekly export sales data from the USDA for December pointed to exports of 2.03 million mt in December. The figures calculate to a total of around 40.8 million mt of corn exports from the US over January-December.

The 2019-20 marketing year remained challenging for corn production in the US due to inclement weather conditions, resulting in lower availability of the coarse grains along with logistical difficulties. A delay in the US harvest further slowed its exports.

Brazil, however, exported corn at a record following a bumper harvest. The ample supply was also cheaper than US corn for most of the year, severely crimping US corn's competitiveness in the global market. Moreover, exchange rates also favored Brazilian exports.