The United States used to be the top exporter of corn in the world, but that is no longer the case. Brazil has now surpassed the US in corn exports, according to data from the 2023 harvest.
The US’s share in global corn exports declined to 23% for the year, while Brazil surged ahead with 32%. While it's not the first setback for the US — it lost the top spot briefly in 2013 due to drought — never has the US been second for two consecutive years.
The decline isn't unique to corn. The last decade saw the US lose its leading positions in soybean and wheat exports too. Factors like rising internal costs, reduced available farmland, and repercussions from past trade decisions play a part. On the other hand, Brazil's dual annual harvests and recent infrastructural improvements make it a formidable competitor.
In the US, domestic demand for corn remains robust, particularly in the ethanol industry. Around 40% of US corn now fuels the ethanol production sector. However, with electric vehicles on the rise, this demand might face a downturn.
The National Corn Growers Association pointed out the challenges faced by the US this year, notably Brazil's competitive market prices. The US, grappling with increased labor and transport costs, plus natural challenges like droughts, finds it tough to keep pace on the international stage.
China is buying more agricultural products from Brazil to reduce its dependence on the US. The US is still a major supplier to China, but Brazil is becoming more important. This is because of the political climate between the US and China.
The fact that the US is exporting less agricultural products is not just a number. It shows that the US is facing challenges in the global agricultural market. These challenges require the US to come up with new strategies and be more adaptable. Source : wisconsinagconnection