While drought remains a major story in much of the U.S. entering the 2021 crop year, the same conditions are starting to unfold in China. Combined with dwindling grain reserves there and continued crop yield risks in South America — a major competitor to the U.S. in the global grain trade — recent signals of increased demand from the Asian nation are totally legitimate and could lead to increased grain shipments there from the U.S. as early as April, one market analyst said Wednesday. The potentially bullish news comes as U.S. and Chinese officials are meeting in Alaska this week to discuss trade among other high-level issues facing the two nations. On Wednesday, exporters reported to USDA export sales tenders for more than 1.2 million metric tons of corn for delivery to China this marketing year. See more on the China grain export picture.