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  • Unconventional Ag

Global Grain Trade Hits All-Time High

Total global grain trade volume increased to a record high last year based on increased international trading in barley and sorghum, according to the International Grains Council (IGC).

China has been a key buyer of barley and sorghum which have proven to be cheaper alternatives in animal feed to supply the country’s livestock sector, and which have no imposed import quotas. China’s imports of sorghum and barley for the 2014/15 crop year jumped to 11.5 million tons, up from 1.7 million tons in 2010/11.

For the current crop year the group forecasts that grain trade will maintain strength, falling slightly to 304 million tons, citing further increases in sorghum trade, but restrictions on barley sales due improved local supplies in some markets.

The IGC also forecasts a significant 5% drop in global corn output for 2015/16, which will contribute to a 3% drop in total global grain harvests. Overall grain output including wheat, corn, and rice is expected to be 1,973 million tons. Corn output declines are also expected in Ukraine where the lack of credit, the high cost of inputs, and the crash of the local currency are all putting pressure on production, and also in Brazil where dry weather could curb output.

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