The USDA announced Tuesday a large export grain sale of 1.156 million metric tons of U.S. corn to China for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year, showing that the massive Chinese demand so far in the 2020-21 marketing year continues to be robust.

“Today’s announcement puts Chinese purchases of U.S. corn at close to 20 million metric tons for the current marketing year and is further evidence demand for corn in China is extremely robust,” U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand told Agri-Pulse.

The Tuesday announcement is the first large daily announcement for a corn sale to China in over a month. The USDA announced the largest-ever daily export sale of U.S. corn to China on Jan. 29 and the fourth largest on Jan. 28.

The USDA reported an export sale of 1.7 million tons of corn to China on Jan. 28. The next day, USDA announced another corn export sale to China of 2.108 million tons. Since then, China has been quietly buying a lot more U.S. corn.

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“This is the first announced purchase by China we’ve seen since before the Chinese New Year, but in that period between purchases we have seen over 1 million metric tons of corn sales shift from unknown destinations to China as the confirmed destination,” said LeGrand.

The latest data released last week showed no new sales to China from Feb. 26 through Mar. 4. However, the previous report, released Mar. 4, showed China buying about 1.05 million tons of U.S. corn during the week of Feb. 19 — 25. Almost all of those sales were originally listed as to “unknown destinations.”

As of Mar. 4, there were 11.327 million tons in outstanding sales of corn to China that have not yet been delivered, according to the latest USDA trade data.

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