A large Colombian importer recently made its first purchase of U.S. corn in more than two years. With the guidance of the U.S. Grains Council - the importer networked with grains exporters in Texas, Alabama and Louisiana - resulting in the purchase of more than 787,000 bushels of U.S. corn. Because the importer is the largest animal feed manufacturer in Colombia - the National Corn Growers Association says the relationship could lead to an important increase in U.S. corn exports to the country.
U.S. corn imports accounted for 80% of the Colombian corn market in 2008 - but U.S. corn accounted for only 21% of the market by 2011. NCGA says the delay in ratification of the U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement contributed to the decline in U.S. market share. But the FTA was ratified by the U.S. Congress in late 2011 - and now NCGA says the Colombian importer can return to purchasing U.S. corn without paying tariffs that were in place before the FTA’s implementation. As implementation continues - NCGA expects more stories of increased market access benefitting U.S. corn farmers will arise.