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China Undertakes Biggest Ever U.S. Corn Purchase, Set to Exceed WTO Quota

China has initiated its largest ever U.S. buying spree - purchasing 6 million tons of U.S. corn during the last week of January, with intentions to purchase an additional 2 million tons, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Beijing is moving on U.S. commodities in order to feed a national hog herd that is in recovery after being decimated by African swine fever (ASF). However, it is not only the U.S. set to benefit - Bloomberg reports that Juan Luciano, head of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), stated that China will import 25 million tons of corn on a global scale, adding that China is not only trying to feed a growing hog herd, but is also working to improve the rations fed to its animals, indicating greater grain purchases from China for the longer term.

When China made its 6 million-ton U.S. corn purchase, the U.S. was already scheduled to ship 5.9 million tons to China this season - far exceeding the WTO yearly quota of 7.2 million tons, and surpassing the 11.3 million tons of U.S. corn bought by China last year.

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