CHINA’S PURCHASE READS LIKE A SUSPENSE NOVEL

It’s sad but true. I enjoy my job enough that I sit on the edge of my seat waiting for answers to the question of the day. Today, that question happens to be Will the Chinese government allow US corn to be unloaded in China?

I know it’s isn’t a question that would keep most of you up at night, but for me, it’s almost like a suspense novel.

Yesterday, China (actually COFCO, the largest oils and food importer and exporter in China) bought six cargos of U.S. corn from Bunge. The shipments are to be delivered between June and September 2010.
This is great news because the U.S. has been waiting to gain entry into the Chinese market for years. We have worked long and hard to ensure that when China needed more corn, they would buy it from us. In 2001, we heard the great news that they had purchased three cargos of corn, but we were all disappointed later when they cancelled them.
Now can you imagine that when I heard the news about China buying six cargos of corn yesterday I was jumping out of my chair? Ok, maybe I wasn’t that enthusiastic, but I was cautiously optimistic that this market was finally open to Illinois corn farmers.
Illinois corn farmers have a lot to gain from new exports to China. We have three river systems … the Illinois, the Ohio, and the Mississippi. We have a comparative advantage when it comes to exporting corn because it’s cheapest for us to get it to a river and load it on a barge. Cargos of corn going to China is great news for the overabundance of corn Illinois farmers are predicted to produce in 2010.
This announcement came just in time.
Except a second announcement came right on its heels – the Chinese inspection papers, or whatever they call the government document that allows US corn to be unloaded in China, haven’t been issued yet. To me, that means another cancellation could be in our future.
I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m waiting to see what happens. I can’t wait to flip to that final page of the story and find out the answer.
What can I say? I love a good story. Instead of a book worm, I’m a corn wor … no wait.

Phil Thornton
ICGA/ICMB Value Enhanced Project Director

2 thoughts on “CHINA’S PURCHASE READS LIKE A SUSPENSE NOVEL”

  1. Ha! I get it! He's sitting on the edge of his seat. Well done.China is huge news no matter what they're buying, or what they're selling for that matter.

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