(NAFB)--According to the U.S. Grains Council - Friday, October 18, 2013 was a day that will go down in history. On Friday - the first-ever bulk shipment of U.S. sorghum to China berthed and began unloading at the Guangzhou Port Facility. This historical event in the growing U.S.-China agricultural trade relationship was witnessed and celebrated by U.S. Grains Council staff, representatives of buyers and sellers, port officials and a U.S. government representative. The shipment of 2.36-million bushels is designated for animal feed and demonstrates the continuing modernization of China’s feed industry. USGC Director in China Bryan Lohmar says China’s sophisticated feed industry has the capacity to explore different feed ingredients and evaluate their effectiveness in a highly competitive environment. He says the Council believes U.S. sorghum has significant potential to become a regular feed ingredient in China. Lohmar says sorghum imports from the U.S. can help keep food prices low and improve China’s overall food security.
Council sources indicate China could purchase a significant share of the 2013 U.S. sorghum crop. Alvaro Cordero - Grains Council Manager of Global Trade - says there are approximately 20 Panamax vessels of U.S. sorghum sold to China as of this month - which represents around 43.3 to 47.2-million bushels. He says traders estimate the 2013-14 crop year should register sales of 63-million bushels or more.
According to the Council - restrictions on corn imports through China’s tariff rate quota are providing a prime opportunity to help China’s feed industry and livestock producers seek a wider variety of options - including U.S. sorghum. The U.S. Grains Council and United Sorghum Checkoff Program provided technical seminars and assistance to help the industry understand the nutritional value of sorghum, how to incorporate it into feed formulations and the potential for future sorghum export supplies from the U.S. in September. Grains Council Chairman Julius Schaaf says the U.S. 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.