News & Events
Things are looking up for U.S. corn exports to the Middle East and North Africa region.
"With U.S. corn priced competitively again, U.S. market share in the Middle East and North Africa region has potential to expand," said Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council regional director in the Middle East and Africa. "The region is already seeing an increase in U.S. corn imports."
By: Erick Erickson, U.S. Grains Council director of Global Strategies
Strong consumer demand and unrelenting competition define the poultry industry in North Africa and the Middle East. Last week, industry leaders from 65 poultry companies from the region attended a conference hosted by Elanco Animal Health where I had the pleasure of presenting a global grain outlook.
"I'm so old I remember when all communications between the U.S. Grains Council's D.C. office and the overseas offices were via fax and Sprintmail," says Cary Sifferath, now marking 20 years of Council service.
Sifferath, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa, has weathered difficult times during his Council career, from the Southeast Asia economic crisis of 1997/98, when he was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to biotech corn issues when he ran the Japan office and more recently the Arab Spring movement, which began outside his front door in Tunisia.
On Oct. 6, 2013, the Moroccan National Poultry Federation (FISA) celebrated Egg Day by bringing 10 finalists from its national egg recipe contest to a final cook-off. Through Egg Day and an annual national egg recipe contest that attracts 5,000 entries, FISA raises consumer awareness of easy and attractive ways to serve eggs. FISA – thanks to training and guidance by the U.S. Grains Council – maintains an ambitious consumer egg promotion campaign with a goal to increase per capita egg consumption in Morocco from 139 per year to 153 per year by 2015.
By: Anne Zaczek, U.S. Grains Council manager of global development programs
The World Food Prize annually recognizes individuals across all sectors of the value chain who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world. In conjunction with the honors events, it also sponsors the Borlaug Dialogue, an internationally recognized symposium that this year drew more than 1,500 attendees from around the world to explore solutions to the world's current and future food challenges.
In September an Algerian commercial importer made the first ever purchase of U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF) into Algeria. This was made possible in part by U.S. Grains Council efforts that led to the successfully removal in September 2012 of the value added tax (VAT) and custom tax on all feed imports in Algeria, including DDGS and CGF.
The booming economies of developing Asia continue to dominate the near term outlook for food and feed demand, but the question of "what next?" is never far from the surface. With its large and rapidly growing populations and enormous resource base, sub-Saharan Africa is commanding renewed attention.
The U.S. Grains Council, in September 2012, successfully fostered the removal of the value added tax (VAT) and custom tax on all feed imports in Algeria, including distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF). Last week that effort paid off with the first importation of the high-value U.S. products into the nation.
The situation in Egypt remains unsettled, and the U.S. Grains Council's first priority is ensuring the safety of our staff.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo was closed on Sunday, July 14 (a work day in Egypt) and reopened on Monday, July 15. The Embassy currently has posted a security message to U.S. citizens warning of possible demonstrations on Friday, July 19. The Council's Cairo office was closed Monday but opened Tuesday and Wednesday. The staff will make a day-to-day decision on whether the streets are quiet enough for safe travel between home and office.
The situation in Egypt continues to be fluid. As of Tuesday of this week, U.S. Grains Council staff in Cairo reports that the streets are quieter, people are beginning to venture out, and local stores seem to be well stocked with food for Ramadan, which began Monday. The political situation, however, remains unpredictable, as all parties continue to discuss their next steps following the army's ouster last week of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.