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US corn exports to touch record high in 2020-21 at 73 million mt: USDA arm

Corn exports from the US for the 2020-21 marketing year (October-September) were seen rising by 3 million mt from previous estimate to a record high of 73 million mt, reflecting continued strong foreign demand and limited supplies in Ukraine and Brazil, the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service said in its World Market and Trade report June 10.

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The previous record was of 63.7 million mt exported in 2017-18, the report said.

"For the first half of the current trade year, the export pace was well ahead of previous levels with large volumes to China and many other destinations," the report said. "US corn exports are expected to be robust for the remainder of the year, with large sales on the books," it added.

Total commitments for US corn – cumulative exports plus outstanding sales – were reported at 69.298 million mt for 2020-21 marketing year (September-August) on June 10, according to the USDA. The yearly total was 68% above the year-ago volume during the same week.

Global market share

Corn exports to China from Ukraine -- traditionally the leading exporter to China -- have more than doubled from a year ago despite smaller available supplies, the FAS report said. "This has left countries in North Africa, Middle East, and Asia to look to the US for corn," it added.

For Brazil, exports were lowered this month, reflecting persistent dry conditions in several states where the second-crop corn is produced, the report said. The second-crop corn, particularly in the Center-West, is primarily destined for overseas markets.

The agency sees Brazil's corn exports for 2020-21 at 32 million mt, down 2 million mt from previous estimates.

The global corn market is supplied primarily by four countries – the US, Brazil, Ukraine, and Argentina. Combined, these countries account for nearly 90% of global corn exports.