WASHINGTON — Brazil will overtake the United States as the world’s top corn exporter in the 2022-23 marketing year and is projected to be the leading exporter in 2023-24 as well, according to statistics from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.
The only other year in which Brazil topped the United States in corn exports was in 2012-13, a year in which a severe drought impacted US corn production.
The FAS estimates Brazil’s 2022-23 exports at 56 million tonnes, compared to only 41 million tonnes in shipments for the United States. In the current marketing year, which began Sept. 1, FAS forecasts Brazilian corn exports at 55 million tonnes, with the United States close behind at 52 million.
Brazil’s breakthrough is attributed to a bumper harvest and improvement in transportation logistics such as the consolidation of northern export routes, according to a Reuters report.
The country’s growing ties with China, which recently increased the number of Brazilian corn exporters approved to ship corn, also are playing a role in the increase. Until recently, the United States had been the largest supplier of corn to China, along with Ukraine, which has seen its exports decline due to the war with Russia.
The US corn industry also is being affected by a trade dispute with Mexico, its largest buyer, over a proposed ban of imports of genetically modified corn from the United States used for human consumption. Mexico amended its original decree, which banned all GM corn from the United States, to allow imports targeted for feed and industrial uses.
The United States has requested a dispute settlement panel under the North American trade pact, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.