2015 In Review

Excellence in Exports

The U.S. Grains Council tailors its efforts to each region, each nation and each situation to help develop export markets for U.S. coarse grains and related co-products. This year's theme, Excellence in Exports, highlights the areas in which USGC Chairman Alan Tiemann believes the Council displays excellence. Those five areas include membership, its global staff team, the relationships it fosters, collaboration with partners and dedication to export markets.
From completing another successful Taiwanese Goodwill Mission to launching a historic aqua feeding trial in Vietnam to releasing its first-ever sorghum quality report, the Council had a fruitful 2015.

The Council welcomes you to explore its 2015 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

Click here to download a PDF version of the financials. 

Dear U.S. Grains Council members:

Developing new markets and serving our loyal customers takes commitment and determination, which the Council has demonstrated time and again. In the more than 55 years since its founding, our organization has helped U.S. agricultural exports reach new levels of achievement and growth – a record of excellence that continued in earnest in 2015.

This annual report illustrates how the Council brought this year’s theme of Excellence in Exports to life. Through a network of 10 international offices and consultants spanning the globe and with programs in more than 50 countries, the Council’s team is on duty around the clock, searching for new opportunities and building partnerships with your customers.

Several landmark events for the grain trade occurred during 2015: Colombia purchased U.S. sorghum for the first-time in recent memory; China claimed the top spot for DDGS and sorghum purchases despite policy challenges; and TPP negotiators finally reached a deal.

The Council also experienced its own organizational landmarks. From completing another successful Taiwanese Goodwill Mission to launching a historic aqua feeding trial in Vietnam to releasing its first-ever sorghum quality report, we had a fruitful 2015.

But the work is never done. The 2014/2015 marketing year saw the second largest quantity of U.S. ethanol shipped overseas, which the Council and its partners will use as a stepping stone for robust ethanol export promotion programs in the future. The Council’s boots-on-the-ground efforts in mature markets like Japan, Korea and Taiwan built upon the long-standing trade relationships that U.S. ag producers enjoy with these vital buyers. And our offices all over the world are seeking out pockets of demand that can boost sales in the near term and help burgeoning markets become loyal customers over time.

The Council will continue this work and more as we seek out ways to achieve new levels of success for our stakeholders in the corn, sorghum, barley and ethanol industries.

We thank you for your support, guidance and leadership as we look back on these achievements in 2015 and look forward to a successful 2016.

Alan Tiemann

Tom Sleight
President and CEO

2015 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.

Click here to view a PDF of 2014/2015 export statistics. 

2015 Yearly Highlights

Ethanol Export Promotion Heats Up

The U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) ability to seek out, exploit and build demand from the ground up has made it an invaluable resource for U.S. farmers for more than five decades.

Nowhere was this unique contribution more evident in 2015 than the Council’s rampedup ethanol export promotion program supporting marketing year sales of more than 870 million gallons (3.2 billion liters) of U.S. ethanol to global customers.

The Council and its partners – Growth Energy, the Renewable... Read Story

Ag Sees Action on Trade Policy

The Council works with partners around the world – including domestic and international grower organizations, industry groups and governments – to make progress on trade policies that will benefit farmers for decades to come.

Trade agreements hold the key to opening markets and resolving tariff and non-tariff barriers to allow the movement of coarse grains, co-products and other agricultural exports to where they are in demand.

After years of negotiations, trade... Read Story

Promotion Leads to Sorghum Success in Colombia, China

The Council’s successful U.S. sorghum promotion work this year highlighted the importance of both cultivating major market participants and diversifying farmers’ customer base through relationship building and information sharing.

China’s recent record imports of U.S. sorghum, which rose to 8.3 million metric tons (326.7 million bushels) in the 2014/2015 marketing year, has roots in work started more than 30 years ago when the Council first began its promotion of U.S. sorghum in that... Read Story

Exploring New Pockets of Demand

With nearly 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, overseas markets offer momentous growth opportunities for U.S. agriculture. The heart of the Council’s work is to build specialized programs for market development to capture these opportunities for U.S. farmers and agribusinesses.

For example, when the Obama Administration announced it would seek to dismantle the 50-year-old restrictions on how companies and individuals interact with Cuba, the... Read Story

Maintaining Excellence in Mature Markets

Japan, Korea and Taiwan are all mature markets: high-income countries with stable and aging populations; excellent, high-quality diets; sophisticated food production and marketing systems; and among the highest food safety standards in the world. They are also all critical markets for U.S. feed grains and ongoing areas for engagement by the U.S. grains industry.

The Council’s promotion of U.S. coarse grains in Japan for more than 50 years has contributed to the country remaining ... Read Story

Outreach Blossoms With Regional Conferences, Quality Reports

When global buyers and end-users learn the value of U.S. corn, they often become repeat customers. The Council’s global network aims to make these connections in part through regular updates on crop progress, market conditions and supply availability.

This year, the Council held biennial regional buyers conferences in Latin America and Southeast Asia as hallmark events for grain users in those regions.

More than 100 buyers and sellers of U.S. coarse grains, representing... Read Story

Planting Seeds in Future Markets

Many of the Council’s successes today are the results of efforts to lay groundwork years – even decades – ago. The Council takes prudent risks and makes judgment calls every day that are necessary to build tomorrow’s export opportunities.

Today, the Council is planting yet more seeds, led by its work in Tanzania to develop the poultry industry there with support from a USDA Food for Progress grant. This initiative was launched in early 2014 to help local feed producers and farmers... Read Story


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