“Combining the volume handled by Cedar Rapids into the other distribution centers will allow for increased efficiency and additional product selection for our Cedar Rapids customers,” the company explained in a statement.
America’s Dominance in Corn Exports Waning
For years, the U.S. has been the “king of corn,”—the source of over half of the corn on the international market. According to the Department of Agriculture, during the 2007-08 marketing year, the U.S. exported 2.4 billion bushels of corn. But, that number is expected to drop to 1.1 billion bushels for the 2012-13 marketing year, and it’s likely that foreign markets are changing permanently.
For one, because of high corn prices, many countries expanded their own corn production to become more self-sufficient. U.S. regulations surrounding ethanol are also responsible, say economists. Specifically, the federal Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that gasoline sold in the U.S. be blended with ethanol. In 2012, the law required oil companies to blend 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol with the gas they formulated. Next year, the blending requirement will rise to 13.8 billion gallons.
Corn is the main feedstock for ethanol, and 5.5 billion bushels of American-grown corn were used for ethanol during 2011-12.