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China Buys 108,000 Tonnes of South African Corn

China received its first cargo of corn from South Africa this week, official news agency Xinhua said, as the world’s top buyer of the grain seeks to diversify its grain purchasing markets.

Thursday’s report said the 53,000-tonne cargo bought by state-owned trader COFCO Group arrived into Machong port in southern Guangdong province, and will be sold to animal feed makers.

be sold to animal feed makers.

More shipments are expected as South Africa, the continent’s top corn producer, exported 108,104 tonnes of yellow feed corn to China between March 25 and April 14 this year, according to the South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS).

South Africa expects a bumper crop of 15.89 million tonnes this year, a marginal increase from 15.47 million the previous year. So far, it has so far exported 3.56 million tonnes of the 2023/24 corn crop, versus last season’s 3.6 million tonnes.

Although Beijing had approved corn imports from South Africa years ago, the COFCO purchase is the first significant volume to reach the country.

It comes as China seeks to add new suppliers of grain, after war in top exporter Ukraine disrupted shipments, leaving it more reliant on the United States.

COFCO is working to expand purchases and “normalize” bulk imports of corn from South Africa, Xinhua said, citing Fan Zhenyu, head of COFCO International’s corn business.

Late last year, Beijing updated a list of approved Brazilian corn exporters, which jump-started imports from the South American country.

The surge in Brazilian imports has triggered a wave of cancellations of U.S. corn purchases, pushing corn futures to multi-month lows amid concerns over demand.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News