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Sorghum supply-demand could push acres higher

Photo courtesy United Sorghum Checkoff Program

The CEO of National Sorghum Producers thinks grain sorghum acres could be higher than the 11 percent increase forecast by USDA.

Tim Lust says significant sorghum purchases by China over the past two months—approaching one million metric tons—have changed the supply-demand outlook.

“Sorghum seems to be in a unique situation right now,” Lust says. “From a stocks-to-use standpoint, we’re going to be going into new crop with very low supplies. And when we look worldwide, a lot of our key competitors on the export market—Australia in particular has just had a horrible year again—and there’s really no export sorghum available.”

Asked if he expects the strong Chinese demand to continue, Lust says, “we feel comfortable the demand is there and will continue moving forward.”

Lust says a big wild card in determining final sorghum acreage will be how many cotton acres are switched to other commodities.

“Many of the cotton acres are still 30 to 40 days away from being planted—maybe 60 days away in some cases—and that is a market that we’re watching closely and just evaluating it in terms of what that final crop mix is.”

USDA estimated grain sorghum plantings at 5,820,000 acres, the vast majority of those in Kansas and Texas.

AUDIO: Tim Lust

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