U.S. exports of feed grains in all forms increased 33 percent year-over-year in the first six months of the 2016/2017 marketing year, according to recently published trade data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and analysis by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).
That data showed the United States exported more than 56.6 million metric tons of feed grains in all forms – a calculation that measures grain products in corn equivalent – from September 2016 to February 2017, compared to 42.5 million tons during the same time the prior marketing year.
Leading the increase, exports of U.S. corn increased 71 percent year-on-year during the first half of the marketing year to 27.8 million tons (1.09 billion bushels) compared to 16.3 million tons (641.7 million bushels) the year prior. Exports as of February 2016 represented 58 percent of last marketing year’s total volume.
In addition, exports of U.S. meat produced with feed grains, including beef, pork and poultry, increased from 9.9 million tons (389.7 million bushels) to 11.5 million tons (452.7 million bushels) in corn equivalent year-over-year, an increase of 15 percent.
U.S. ethanol exports during 2016/2017 as of February 2017 also increased substantially during the first six months of the marketing year, reaching 82 percent of the total volume for 2015/2016 at 711 million gallons (6.45 million tons or 253.9 million bushels in corn equivalent). That volume represents a 66 percent increase year-over-year, up from last marketing year’s 428 million gallons (3.88 million tons or 152.7 million bushels in corn equivalent) during the same time frame.
U.S. exports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) also increased slightly at 3 percent year-over-year despite trade disruptions in two major markets, China and Vietnam. U.S. DDGS exports totaled 5.9 million tons in the first six months of the 2016/2017 marketing year, compared to 5.7 million tons the prior year.
While overall feed grain exports increased, exports of both sorghum and barley declined in the first six months of the 2016/2017 marketing year. U.S. sorghum exports decreased year-on-year from 5 million tons (196.8 million bushels) to 3.4 million tons (133.9 million bushels). Smaller purchases by China drove the sharp decline. U.S. barley exports decreased year-over-year from nearly 143,000 tons (6.57 million bushels) to about 41,000 tons (1.88 million bushels) due to a decline in U.S. exports to Mexico.
The Council’s programs and activities aim to ramp up U.S. feed grain exports in the remaining months of the 2016/2017 marketing year and reach a third-straight year of 100 million tons of exports of U.S. feed grains in all forms.