Sorghum Export Sales

Sorghum Export Sales

Tim Hammerich
Tim Hammerich
News Reporter
Here with your Market Line Commodity Report, I’m Tim Hammerich.

Agricultural markets were all hit hard last week. Although farmers of one grain commodity received some welcomed good news. Sorghum had it’s biggest week in export sales in about five years.

Much of those sales are going to China. Which is a surprise to some, not only because of coronavirus, but because they are on pace to far exceed the USDAs estimate of 900,000 metric tons this crop year.

Garrett Toay is a market analyst and Broker with Ag Trader Talk.

Toay… “From a sorghum standpoint, that's awesome. Because we've got a glut, we've got stuff we've got to work through domestically that's great for the U S producer. Longer term that also might be a little bit friendly for corn as well, because if we're not using sorghum for ethanol usage, that's more corn usage for ethanol. But the bigger picture is, is China going to go back to the way they were in 2014-2015 to 2016-2017 where they're buying about 4 million metric ton of sorghum a year.”

Those Chinese sorghum imports of the past really dropped off in 2018 as a result of the trade war, and much of that U.S. sorghum has been going to ethanol. But you may be wondering, with demand slow on almost every other commodity, what is China using all of this sorghum for?

Toay… “What did the Chinese use sorghum for? Well it's a cattle feed. It's a sweetener. But mostly they use it for alcohol; for consumption. The baijiu is what they typically use it for.”

Hopefully a sign of stronger demand for sorghum and other grains moving forward.

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