2013 In Review

Piecing Together The Possibilites

Global markets are an ever changing puzzle, and its the job of the U.S. Grains Council to fit the pieces together, build partnerships and take advantage of the possibilities. Opportunities in developing markets are significant. After all, nearly 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States.

With the most modern, innovative and productive agricultural system the world has ever seen, the United States enjoys a significant advantage in agricultural trade. In fact, agriculture is a U.S. trade champion, produced a record $141 billion in fiscal year 2013.

The Council worked tirelessly supported global buyers when U.S. stocks were tight due to last year's drought. As China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other buyers returned to sourcing U.S. grains, it was rewarding to see efforts designed to maintain relationships pay dividends so quickly.

The Council welcomes you to explore its 2013 Year In Review materials available on this site, including our market profiles, highlights of our work in about 20 countries and video updates on our key successes. Please also download the PDF version of our report and keep it handy for reference in the coming year.

We sincerely appreciate the support of our members and the coarse grains industry and look forward to more successes in the coming year!

Member Letter

To U.S. Grains Council Members

As U.S. agriculture rebounded from the worst drought in decades – and by some measures, the worst in a century – the U.S. Grains Council focused not only on regaining market share, but on identifying new possibilities and partnerships in a rapidly changing world.

Several landmarks were witnessed in 2013. After three subpar years, U.S. corn production set a new record. Exports began to rebound. China imported its firstever sorghum from the U.S. Distiller’s dried grains with solubles set a new export record. Growing interest in food barley in Asia, as well as the growth of the Mexican microbrewery industry, created new opportunities for barley.

The Council marked some landmarks of its own. Two years in planning, MAIZALL was launched to create a strategic alliance of corn producers in Argentina, Brazil and the United States to work on shared interests in food security through trade, enhanced market access and international acceptance of biotechnology.

The Council also completed a global repositioning of assets, shifting resources in response to the rise of strong competition in North Africa and the Middle East, surging demand in China and emerging economies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Throughout its 53 years, the Council worked to stay ahead of the curve, and that remains its goal today. The pace of change is accelerating. Technology rockets ahead. Markets are bigger and better integrated. The global middle class continues to grow, and so does competition.

This report reviews how the Council in 2013 met these challenges and more. With nine international offices and consultants spanning the globe and programs in more than 50 countries, the Council’s dedicated team is on duty around the clock, searching out opportunities, exploring new possibilities and building new partnerships. This report only scratches the surface.

More information can be found in the Council’s online Annual Report. Or pick up the phone and give us a call – the Council is a member-led organization, and here to serve you.

We have a great team, and the support and personal participation of our members is our greatest resource. Thanks to your support, guidance and leadership, we can look back to many achievements in 2013 – and we look forward to building on that record in the year ahead.

Julius Schaaf

Thomas Sleight
President & CEO

2013 Market Profiles

Compiled here are market snapshots of 18 countries in which the U.S. Grains Council works. In most cases, these profiles contain supply/demand information and market growth potential, as well as articles relating to highlights of our work in that country.

2013 Yearly Highlights

Piecing Together the Possibilities

Global markets are an ever changing puzzle, and it’s the job of the U.S. Grains Council to fit the pieces together, build partnerships and take advantage of the possibilities. Opportunities in developing markets are significant. After all, nearly 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States.

With the most modern, innovative and productive agricultural system the world has ever seen, the United States enjoys a significant advantage in agricultural trade. In... Read Story

Partnering for a More Food Secure World

Trade allows developing countries to gain food security, access the variety and abundance of the world market and win access to developed markets for their own products in which they enjoy a competitive advantage and can earn a greater return. Developed countries like the United States benefit from additional markets for their products; enhanced international political stability, which means a more peaceful world; and global economic growth that results from food security.

The... Read Story

Working to Advance Sound Trade Policy

The U.S. Grains Council is an internationally recognized and respected advocate for responsible pro-trade policies that benefit producers and consumers in the United States and abroad. In essence, the Council encourages free and open trade, and predictable trade rules on which importers and exporters can rely.

So when the Panamanian government attempted to use a loophole in the Panama-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that would close the market to U.S. corn for more than three... Read Story

Open for Business

In a year when U.S. exports faced challenges following drought-reduced 2012 crops, the U.S. Grains Council used relationships nurtured during its previous 53 years to keep foreign markets and buyers confident in the reliability of the United States as a trade partner. From answering questions on U.S. crop supplies to reassuring buyers the United States would remain open for business, the Council had positive messages to share.

This form of trade servicing, of educating buyers on U... Read Story


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