Top 10 destinations for U.S. corn exports


, Japan and China were the main destinations for exports of corn originating in the United States in 2020, according to USDA data.

In general, corn is a cereal that is grown throughout the world and is one of the most consumed foods in the world.

US corn exports increased $ 1.6 billion (20% year-on-year), to $ 9.2 billion in 2020.

First of all, strong demand for food in China contributed to this strong increase, as did China’s implementation of the Phase One Agreement.

Exports to China totaled $ 1.2 billion, the highest since 2012.

In addition, China became the third largest destination for US corn in 2020 after Mexico and Japan.

The top three markets accounted for 62% of total US corn exports.

The sum total of United States corn exports to Colombia, South Korea and Guatemala, three free trade partners of the United States, increased by 424 million dollars compared to 2019.

Corn exports

The main component of the corn grain is starch (72 to 73% of the weight of the grain), followed by proteins (8 to 11 percent).

The corn grain is used directly for food and feed (production of beef, pork and poultry and dairy products).

Corn is also processed to make food and feed (such as high fructose corn syrup, cornstarch, and lysine) or industrial products such as ethanol and polylactic acid (PLA).

Additionally, oil, flour, and sugar are extracted from corn, with various uses in the food, medical, and cosmetic industries.

And there are specific types of corn used for direct human consumption like popcorn and sweet corn.


According to the USDA, US corn exports to China were strong during the second half of 2020 and ultimately exceeded the Phase One quota for 2020 as the recovery in China’s pig sector from sprouts African swine fever (ASF) boosted the demand for feed at competitive prices.

On the other hand, US prices were competitive in global markets supported by abundant exportable supplies and weak domestic demand in the fuel ethanol sector amid Covid-19.

The depreciation of the US dollar against a basket of currencies also boosted the competitiveness of US corn abroad.