2010 was a turning point for China as the country announced it would no longer be self-sufficient in corn production and would turn to imports to meet demand. Shanghai JC estimates that China will import roughly 6 million tons of corn in 2011 and up to 15 million tons in 2014. Other analysts estimate China will import up to 8 million tons of corn in 2011, which is a roughly 600% increase from 2010’s Chinese imports of 1.3 million tons.
Where will China import all this corn from? The first place they will turn to is the U.S., which is the world’s largest corn exporter, accounting for roughly 60% of global corn exports in 2009. Argentina and Brazil, the second largest exporters, only account for roughly 10% of global exports each.