U.S. corn shipments for export are meeting requirements set forth for No.2 corn, the U.S. Grains Council said in its 2014-15 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, released this week.
The corn export quality report measures U.S. corn quality by looking at grade factors, moisture, chemical composition and physical composition in corn samples ready to be loaded for overseas shipment.
The information is shared with U.S. international corn customers, and USGC's global staff and membership will begin presenting the report's results to interested customers next month.
Related: See the most recent daily export sales data reported by USDA
"The United States is the only country that releases such a comprehensive report on the quality of its corn crop," said USGC Manager of Global Trade Manuel Sanchez. "International customers know this and eagerly await its release. This year is no exception."
Corn for export meeting expectations
This year's report is based on 411 yellow commodity corn samples collected from corn export shipments as they underwent the U.S. government-licensed export sampling and inspection process.
The report covers both waterborne and rail export cargoes with results reported as U.S. aggregate and with details from three regions, the Gulf, Pacific Northwest and Southern Rail.
Important findings from the 2014/2015 report include the following:
• For all grade factors measured, the aggregate average is better than or equal to U.S. No. 2 standards.
• The average test weight was 57.5 lb/bu, which indicates good overall grain quality with well-filled kernels and a large percentage of horneous or hard endosperm.
• The average U.S. aggregate for broken corn and foreign materials was at the maximum for U.S. No. 2 corn.
• The average U.S. aggregate for total damage was below the 3% limit for U.S. No. 1 grade with 69.6% of samples at or below the limit for No. 1 corn. Nearly 98% of samples were below the limit of 5% for No. 2.
• U.S. aggregate average moisture across all samples was 14.5%, the same as in 2013/2014.
• All samples were safely below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's action and advisory levels for aflatoxins and DON.
"Overall, the report indicates U.S. corn at the point of export meets the requirements for U.S. No. 2," Sanchez said. "One thing of note was the hardness of the 2014 U.S. corn crop. We believe this was due to the favorable growing conditions the crop experienced, which led to larger corn kernels than last year with hard endosperms of 70 to 100%."
The hardness of the 2014 corn crop is one example of a trait that has varied year-to-year. With four years of report data now available, users can begin to develop an average baseline and track trends. For the first time this year, the report includes three-year-averages for the different characteristics to aid in this analysis.
The newly-released export cargo quality report is a companion to the Council's 2014/2015 Corn Harvest Quality Report, which details the quality of U.S. corn at the time of harvest.