China has again committed to a substantial purchase of U.S. corn for the 2021-22 marketing year, reinforcing optimism that demand from the country is long term.

The USDA on Thursday announced a grain sale of 680,000 metric tons of new crop U.S. corn. The announcement follows a Tuesday sale of 680,000 tons, a Monday sale of 1.02 million tons, and a Friday sale of 1.36 million tons. All of those sales were to Chinese buyers and for delivery in 2021-22, which begins Sept. 1.

“The big numbers … say a lot,” Collin Watters, director of exports and logistics for the Illinois Corn Growers Association, tells Agri-Pulse. “The structural demand and supply situation in China isn’t resolved. They recognize that there’s long-term demand that won’t be met domestically.”

It’s not just purchase commitments. The U.S. is also sending major shipments of corn to China.

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U.S. corn exports finished the month of April with big shipments – especially to China – and those exports remained robust in the first week of May, according to the latest weekly data out of USDA. The U.S. shipped about 1.5 million metric tons of corn in the seven-day period of April 30-May 6, and China was the destination for 355,700 tons.

That followed the week of April 23-29, which saw the U.S. export about 2.2 million tons of corn. China was the biggest destination, taking 698,100 tons.

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