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Organic whole-corn and cracked-corn imports reached a combined 32,000 metric tons in May, a 40 percent increase from May 2018. Organic whole-corn imports increased slightly in May from the prior month, reaching an estimated 4,000 metric tons, but remained at less than 2018 levels.

Mercaris has revised April’s organic-whole-corn import volumes following the release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official trade data for the month. Following the upward revision in April’s organic-cracked-corn figures, imports for the month of May reached 28,000 metric tons, an 8 percent increase from April’s revised data.

Organic-soybean imports slowed substantially in May according to Mercaris estimates, at 4.8,000 metric tons, the poorest level since November 2011. Initial trade data suggests that only India and Canada had shipments arrive at U.S. ports in the month of May.

Organic-soybean-meal maritime imports during the month of May declined by 20 percent from the prior month, to about 31,000 metric tons. Despite the decline, May’s import volumes were the third-largest on record. They exceeded the previous year’s imports by 137 percent.

Organic-broiler slaughter saw a 6 percent increase in May after several months of decline. Mercaris estimates that May organic-broiler slaughter will reach 4.7 million head, an increase of 8 percent year-over-year. Organic-broiler slaughter since the start of 2019 has been consistently less than or even with the previous year’s levels until now. With the sudden increase during the month of May, organic-broiler slaughter is estimated to have reached 22.4 million head through the first five months of 2019. That’s about even with the previous year.

Across the organic sector both supply and demand are becoming increasingly complex. With that complexity Mercaris is pushing to provide more data and key market information – including increased coverage of organic-livestock and organic-commodity imports. The shift away from organic-whole-soybean imports toward organic soybean meal remains one of the most impactful changes. It’s one Mercaris will continue to follow closely.”

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Ryan Koory is the senior economist with Mercaris, a market-data and auctions startup supporting the growth of organic and non-genetically modified agriculture in the United States.