U.S. NEEDS MORE MARKET ACCESS AS WORLD CORN PRODUCTION ESTIMATES RISE

Lindsay Mitchell

May, 18, 2015  |  Today's News

The United States has planted 75 percent of its corn acreage for what is currently projected to be its largest corn crop ever, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (UDSA's) Crop Progress report released on May 11. While weather will be the ultimate determining factor in how much corn is available for sale and export, global markets like Argentina, Mexico and Serbia are also ramping up their production, further boosting world corn production estimates according to USDA’s World Markets and Trade report released earlier this month.

The United States, Argentina, Brazil and Ukraine are the top four corn exporting countries in the world and compete for market share. While these U.S. competitor countries are projected to account for only 11 percent of world corn production in the 2014/2015 marketing year, combined they are expected to provide nearly 40 percent of world exports. The U.S. profile is more balanced, as the United States is currently projected to produce nearly 30 percent of the world’s corn crop while providing about 35 percent of world exports.

“The bottom line is the growing market for U.S. corn exports is global,” said Illinois farmer and U.S. Grains Council Chairman Ron Gray. “The United States’ competitor countries are positioned to meet global demand if we don't focus on our international customers. One way to do that is by creating barrier-free, open trade with our overseas buyers.”

Currently, there are two large multilateral trade agreements on the table that would increase the United States’ access to important regional markets. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes 12 Pacific Rim countries that are responsible for 40 percent of global trade. The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) has the potential to boost U.S. trade with the European Union by more than $120 billion within five years. Both are critical to U.S. agriculture’s profitability in the future.