Market News & Headlines >> China Imports South African Corn; Cancels U.S.

China has received its first significant shipment of corn from South Africa, a 53,000-metric-ton cargo bought by state-owned trader COFCO Group that arrived last week, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.

The shipment comes as Beijing looks to diversify sources for its imports and at the same time as it continues to cancel previous purchases of U.S. corn. USDA on Tuesday announced the cancellation of 272,000 metric tons of U.S. corn for delivery to China during the current 2022/23 marketing year. This was the third such cancellation announcement from USDA since April 24.

More shipments of South African corn are expected to arrive in China as Africa’s top corn exporter shipped 108,104 metric tons of corn to China between March 25 and April 14, according to the South African Grain Information Service.  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.

Beijing approved imports of corn from South Africa years ago, but the COFCO purchase is the first import shipment of significant volume, according to Reuters News Service. China had imported a total of just 37,800 metric tons of corn from the country over the previous 10 years.