We talk a lot about exports and trade because the majority of our Illinois corn leaves the state for an international market. Trade is hugely important to corn farmers in Illinois.
So if you’re a numbers person, and this idea of corn grown in Illinois feeding livestock in Mexico or fueling automobiles in Japan appeals and interests you, you might really enjoy this resource.
This clickable map provides data on how much U.S. corn and corn products (beef and pork are “corn products” if you think about it!) other countries are importing and will even show you how those numbers change from year to year.
For example, Brazil is actually the top importer of corn-based ethanol right now, with an over 400% increase from last year. Seems odd, because Brazil makes their own sugar cane ethanol, right? But the price of sugar has actually caused Brazil to sell more of their sugar as just sugar, and import their renewable fuel needs from us.
Japan and Mexico are almost tied at the amount of corn that they buy from the U.S. – within 200,000 metric tons of each other. They are also our largest two markets for corn.
Check it out and click around. It’s a fun, interactive tool to help you learn more about how the corn farmers here in Illinois are providing for the world!