U.S. to Lose Ground in Corn Trade During Next Decade, USDA Says

Ukraine, Brazil and the European Union increasingly will shape the world corn market during the next decade, as the U.S. share of exports steadily declines, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. percentage of the global corn trade will drop from about 55 percent now to less than 47 percent by 2021, the USDA said yesterday in an annual 10-year baseline forecast. China, the world’s top soybean- and cotton-buyer, will quadruple its purchases of the grain to feed livestock, the department said.

“Favorable resource endowments, increasing economic openness, wider use of hybrid seeds, and greater investment in agriculture” will aid a 60 percent jump in exports from nations of the former Soviet Union, the USDA said in the report. In addition, “Brazilian production and exports of corn are projected to increase in response to high world prices.”

U.S. farmers this year will plant the biggest corn crop since World War II, prompted by the highest prices in at least four decades, according to a Bloomberg survey of farmers, bankers and analysts. Prices for the most valuable U.S. crop traded in Chicago averaged $6.79 a bushel in 2011, a record.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Bjerga in Washington at abjerga@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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