Corn, a major source of food for both humans and animals, is grown in more countries than any other crop. This versatile plant can thrive in climates as diverse as the arid desert plains of the southwestern United States and the high Andean mountain plains of Ecuador and Peru. The temperate plains of the United States provide some of the best growing conditions for corn in the world, making the U.S. the world's top corn producer.
The majority of corn grown in the United States is "dent" corn, so called because the kernel typically forms a dent on the cap or crown at maturity. Dent corn is used for everything from livestock feed to corn syrup and sweeteners to ethanol and industrial products. Other major classifications of corn include: sweet corn, which is grown almost exclusively for human consumption; and value-enhanced corn, grown to provide specific traits or characteristics such as higher oil, starch or nutrition content.
World Corn Production and Trade
Corn is the United States' largest crop, in terms of both volume and value. The states of Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota account for more than 50 percent of U.S. corn production. Other major corn-producing states include Indiana, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio and Kentucky.
The United States grew 38 percent of the world's corn in during fiscal year 2003, producing 228.8 million metric tons (9 billion bushels). Other major corn producing countries in 2000 included:
- China -121.3 million metric tons (4.7 billion bushels)
- Brazil - 45 million metric tons (1.7 billion bushels)
- European Union - 40 million metric tons in (1.6 billion bushels)
- Mexico - 18.8 million metric tons (740 million bushels)
- Argentina - 15.5 million metric tons (610 million bushels)
The United States is not only the world's top corn producer, but also the top exporter. On average, about 20 percent of U.S. corn is exported. During fiscal year 2003 (October-September), the United States exported 41 million metric tons (1.6 billion bushels) - accounting for 53 percent of world corn exports. During the same period, other major corn exporters included China (15 million metric tons, or 590 million bushels) and Argentina (12 million metric tons, or 472 million bushels).
Japan is the largest and most consistent importer of corn in the world. The United States satisfies nearly all of Japan's demand. During fiscal year 2003, Japan imported 14.5 million metric tons (571 million bushels) of U.S. corn.
Mexico, Taiwan, Canada, Egypt and Colombia are also major corn importers and important markets for the United States.
Although used primarily to feed livestock, corn is a versatile grain with a wealth of uses. It is also processed into a multitude of food and industrial products, including starches, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohol, and fuel ethanol. Thousands of foods and other everyday items - from toothpaste and cosmetics to adhesives and shoe polish - contain corn components.
Corn products are rapidly replacing petroleum in many industrial applications. Polylactide (PLA), a biodegradable polymer made from corn, is being used successfully in the manufacturing of a wide variety of everyday items such as clothing, packaging, carpeting, recreational equipment and food utensils. Because these products are biodegradable and made from a renewable resource, they offer tremendous environmental benefits.
India is the seventh largest producer of corn in the world, averaging 10,504 TMT of production. India, on average, consumes 10,473 TMT of corn, ranking them as the sixth largest consumer of corn in the world.
Corn in India is grown in small, inland pockets throughout the country. The state of Uttar Pradesh produces 16 percent and Bihar 14 percent of India's total corn production. It is also produced in Rajasthan, M.P. and Karnataka in substantial quantities. Corn in India is usually planted from around mid-May through the end of July. Corn harvest can be expected to begin around the first of November and run through the end of January.
PEC has been active in Corn trade for quiet some time. The Corn being traded by PEC is strictly Non-GMO. In past few years, PEC has imported Corn for starch producers.
PEC entered into export of Corn in the year 2003 and till Aug, 2004 a total of 250,000 MT (approx) has been exported to Far East and Middle East destination from Kandla and Vizag ports.