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US sorghum farmers benefiting from record Chinese purchases

US sorghum farmers are benefiting from increased export demand.

Florentino Lopez is the Director of International Market Development for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. He says so far this marketing year, international purchases total 233 million bushels which is about half of the crop, and purchases are being made for next marketing year- which he says is rare.  

“In the coming marketing year there has already been a little over 27 million bushels that have been purchased. That grain hasn’t even been planted, so that gives a better understanding of what is taking place.”

China is the big buyer for next marketing year so far with a record 27 million bushels purchased four weeks into the current marketing year, which also set the record for the earliest purchase for the following marketing year, buying grain 342 days in advance. China is targeting sorghum for feed use, biofuels, and alcohol for human consumption.

“We believe that is sending a very positive message that they continue to search out sorghum, they continue to look for it to fill into certain areas and we believe farmers need to take advantage of that.”

He says that strong demand has boosted prices with a basis $1.65 on the positive side since mid-February, an increase of $1.60 from last year and nearly $1 higher than the corn basis.  

Lopez spoke during the National Sorghum Producers Virtual Industry Forum Monday ahead of the 2021 Commodity Classic.

Presentation by Florentino Lopez during the National Sorghum Producer’s Virtual Industry Forum

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