In 2014, US farmers will continue to be big beneficiaries of China's soaring demand for international agricultural products like soy, corn and meat in particular.
"China's policies have pushed the country to purchase more agricultural products from the US, and this trend will be maintained over the next several years," said Peng Yufa, a researcher at Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
In 2013, the US became China's biggest supplier for agricultural products, shipping US$23.5 billion worth of grain, meat, fruit and dairy products to China, according to the USDA.
Peng said China's subsidies on seeds and fertiliser, guaranteed minimum government purchase prices and technical support encouraged farmers in its main rice and soy-producing regions to plant more staple grains over the past several years.
Last year, China imported 84 million tonnes of agricultural products from the world market, including 14 million tonnes of corn, wheat and rice, about 2.6% of the nation's total domestic cereal output. The country's soy imports rose 8.6% on-year to 63.38 million tonnes, mainly from the US and Brazil, and accounted for more than 80% of China's domestic demand.
The USDA predicted that China will continue to be the US' top agricultural export market in 2014, taking an estimated US$25 billion of its agricultural products.
More than 124 million tonnes of corn and 11.7 million tonnes of wheat were consumed by Chinese livestock in 2013, showing a 5% and 7.2% increase, respectively, from the previous year, according to the Beijing-based China Feed Industry Association.