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A vessel from the United States that carries 69, 842 tonnes of sorghum bound for China has relocated to Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Federal Grains Inspection Service, the BTG EIGER departed with U.S. sorghum from Archer Daniels Midland Co’s Corpus Christi Grain Elevator in Texas last March 3.

Several ships carrying cargos of sorghum from the U.S. to China have changed course since Beijing slapped hefty anti-dumping deposits on U.S. imports of the grain last week.

Currently, there are 22 vessels carrying U.S. sorghum on the water that were loaded for China, according to USDA’s data.

China imports sorghum for use in livestock feed and to manufacture the liquor baijiu.

Saudi Arabia is not a big sorghum importer, but it is the world's tenth-largest buyer of corn.

The country is forecast to import 4.5 million tonnes of corn this year, USDA estimates showed. Some of the sorghum is expected to be used to replace corn in animal feed rations.

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Anti-Dumping Measures

Last week, China’s Ministry of Commerce said that it would impose provisional anti-dumping measures on grain sorghum imported from the U.S.

A preliminary ruling by the MOC found that U.S. companies had dumped grain sorghum on the Chinese market, and such imports had caused substantial damage to the domestic industry.

Started last week as well, importers of the product were required to pay deposits with Chinese customs calculated based on a rate of 178.6 percent.

Data from the MOC showed U.S. sorghum exports to China increased from 317,000 tonnes in 2013 to 4.76 million tonnes in 2017, while export prices have decreased 31 percent during the period, which led to a fall in domestic prices, hurting local industries.

Wang Hejun, head of the ministry’s trade remedy and investigation bureau, said the decision complies with Chinese laws and WTO rules and plans to correct unfair practices to maintain a healthy trade order.

“China has always opposed abuses of trade remedy measures…China is willing to expand cooperation with the U.S. side to reduce disagreements in the trade field,” Wang said.

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