New originations and COVID-19
While seasonality continues to dictate the most competitive origins of corn exports, its multiple uses in food, animal feed and increasingly fuel create a fine balance that is easy to disrupt.
The greatest threat to that balance comes from ever more unpredictable weather patterns, changing government policies and trade tensions, evolving technologies and Black Swan events such as COVID-19 – which are no longer rare. Four such shocks in the past decade – the US drought in 2012, the Brazilian drought in 2016, African Swine Fever in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 – have all left an indelible mark on global corn trade patterns.
The corn market has both adapted and transformed in an effort to minimize the impact of future shocks, along the way developing more drought-resistant crops, technological advances in farming and diversified supply origins. Countries across the globe have increased corn production and reigning market champions are under challenge.
The global corn market once dominated by the US has been transformed in the past five years by a close to 50% surge in exports from Brazil, the EU, Argentina and Ukraine. The rising prominence of new entrants into the export market has spurred the need for a new global arbitrage price matrix, which S&P Global Platts launched in September 2020.
Read more in our special report, Solving corn.