Corn Demand Explodes in Columbia and Peru

As of March 12, 2015, the Western Hemisphere claimed just shy of 18 million metric tons (708.6 million bushels) in outstanding sales and accumulated exports of U.S. corn for the 2014/2015 marketing year, 2.6 million tons (102 million bushels) more than last year at the same time. 

With domestic consumption of U.S. corn expected to remain flat for the 2014/2015 marketing year, there is an abundant supply available for export. The Western Hemisphere is a natural market due to its proximity to U.S. export channels.

Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela are generally among the top 10 export markets for U.S. corn, and the countries of Central America are generally among the top 20 export markets. New growth throughout the region is occurring due to grain availability, competitively priced U.S. corn and policies that enable open, liberalized trade of goods and services.

Two notable increases were in the Colombia, with an increase of almost 1 million tons (39 million bushels), and Peru, with an increase of 715,000 tons (28 million bushels). Both markets have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the United States that provide greater market access for U.S. agricultural products.

Under the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, the United States enjoys a duty-free tariff rate quota (TRQ) for the first 2.43 million tons (95.7 million bushels) of corn exports to Colombia in 2015. However, as of March 12, Colombia’s accumulated exports and outstanding sales of U.S. corn totaled more than 3.1 million tons (122 million bushels), meaning Colombia will be importing U.S. corn outside of its TRQ this year. This highlights the vast demand for the U.S. product.

Meanwhile, Peru’s appetite for U.S. corn has also exploded, reaching 1.8 million tons (71 million bushels) as of March 12. The U.S.-Peru trade promotion agreement has been instrumental in boosting bilateral trade in food and agricultural products between the United States and Peru. Within the first seven days of 2015, Peru exhausted its entire TRQ of 709,000 tons (27.9 million bushels), again highlighting the success of the U.S. FTA.

“The notable continuation of Colombia and Peru sourcing the majority of their corn from the United States is an important achievement as is U.S. market share in Central America maintaining the pace set in the 2013/2014 marketing year,” said USGC Director of the Western Hemisphere Marri Carrow.

“The Council has been involved in the region since the early 1980s, accelerating the growth of domestic meat, milk and egg production. While domestic production boosts the economy of our export customers, this growth presents U.S. farmers with the opportunity for increased profitability in the homeland. Also during this time, the Council fostered long-standing trade partnerships between key buyers and sellers in the region, which helped make this increase of U.S. corn exports to the region possible.”

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