In an effort to maintain customer confidence in U.S. sorghum and enhance trade relationships with the sorghum industry, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) led a mission to China, which concluded last week.
The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down many things in China. However, the feed production there has not seen any signs of slow down: total feed production in 2020, 2021 and 2022 was 252.7 million metric tons (MMT), 293. 4 MMT and 302.2 MMT, respectively. When China reopened in December 2022, the market was ready and feed production is expected to continue to grow in 2023 as well.
“Feed production in China was 25.11 million tons in March 2023, up 10.4% month-on-month and 5.5% year-on-year. Total feed demand in the first quarter of 2023 totaled 70.5 million tons, up three percent year-on-year. We continue to see strong demand for coarse grains here in the largest feed-producing country in the world,” said Manuel Sanchez, USGC director in China.
While in China, the group met with Jiangnan University to receive updates on the U.S. sorghum-baijiu study; conducted one-on-one customer visits with key sorghum buyers; offered a U.S. Sorghum Quality Report workshop; learned about demand and consumption trends in China’s market; and further developed and strengthened relationships between U.S. grain suppliers and Chinese buyers.
The Council has been promoting U.S. sorghum in China since 2013. Since then, China has not only become the world’s largest customer for U.S. sorghum, but it is expected to remain a key source of demand for the foreseeable future.