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News 1587 views last update:14 Jan 2016

US sorghum exports reach 19-year high on China demand

US exporters sold enough sorghum to reach a 19-year high record due to China’s demand for cheap animal feed, according to Reuters.

Exporters sold 584.324 tonnes of US sorghum in the week ending Dec. 18, the largest weekly sale since 1995 and the second largest total on records dating back to 1990, USDA data showed.

The sales underscore months of Chinese interest in sorghum, after the country rejected more than 1 million tonnes of corn that contained an unapproved genetically modified variety developed by Syngenta AG.

For China's protein sector, sorghum's appeal is clear: it is often cheaper than corn, and is not genetically modified nor subject to corn's import tariffs and quotas. Sorghum made a comeback among US farmers almost two years ago during a scorching drought. Sorghum is  less expensive to plant than corn, but also tends to yield less per acre.

The USDA forecast that the US is likely to export 5.8 million tonnes of sorghum during the 2014/15 season with nearly 5 million of that likely heading into China.

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