The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said that on last Friday, Oct. 18, the first-ever bulk shipment of U.S. sorghum to China berthed and began unloading at the Guangzhou Port Facility.
The shipment of 60,000 metric tons (2.36 million bushels) is designated for animal feed and "demonstrates the continuing modernization of China’s feed industry," according to USGC.
“China’s sophisticated feed industry has the capacity to explore different feed ingredients and evaluate their effectiveness in a highly competitive environment,” said Bryan Lohmar, USGC's director in China. “The council believes U.S. sorghum has significant potential to become a regular feed ingredient in China. Sorghum imports from the United States can help keep food prices low and improve China’s overall food security.”
USGC said China could purchase a significant share of the 2013 U.S. crop.
“As of this month, there are approximately 20 Panamax vessels sold of U.S. sorghum to China, which represents around 1.1 to 1.2 million tons (43.3 to 47.2 million bushels),” said Alvaro Cordero, USGC's manager of global trade. “Traders estimate that the 2013/14 crop year should register sales of 1.6 million tons (63 million bushels) or more.”
USGC said restrictions on corn imports through China’s tariff rate quota are providing a prime opportunity for it to help China’s feed industry and livestock producers seek a wider variety of options, including U.S. sorghum.
“With China’s meat consumption growing and subsequent growth in feed demand, the United States is in a unique position — both in its capacity to produce and its variety of products — to respond and meet China’s feed grain needs,” said Julius Schaaf, USGC chairman.