News & Events
By: Kevin Roepke, U.S. Grains Council Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia
Delegates from South and Southeast Asia, a region which includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies, recently had the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of U.S. agricultural technologies, logistics and production outlooks during a U.S. Grains Council (USGC) led trade team tour associated with Export Exchange 2014.
Malaysian officials last week agreed to permanently exempt imports of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten meal (CGM) from that nation’s new, more stringent sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and inspection regulations for agricultural commodities. The decision makes permanent a temporary exemption, granted in May, for the period from July 31 to Dec. 31, 2014.
Each year, Israel imports between 2.4 and 2.5 million metric tons of feed grains. The product mix of corn, feed wheat, barley, sorghum, oats and rye changes year-to-year, depending on prices for delivery to Israeli ports from various points of origin in the region.
In recent years, Ukraine and Russia – among other Black Sea sources – have dominated the Israeli market for corn, feed wheat and barley due to proximity and resulting freight advantage over the United States and South America.
Intensive efforts continue in Malaysia to seek clarification or amendment of new agricultural import regulations, which threaten to impose costly new burdens on a wide range of commodities from several exporting countries. The U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Soybean Export Council are working closely with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service Malaysia office and APHIS to reduce or eliminate the negative impact of these new regulations on U.S. export cargos. Local stakeholders in the Malaysian feed, trade and livestock sectors are also expressing their concerns to the Malaysian government.
The U.S. Grains Council, in August 2011, successfully achieved the inclusion of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten feed and other U.S. commodities on the Saudi Arabian import subsidy list. Inclusion on this import subsidy list is essential in eliciting interest from Saudi importers of these products. This effort paid off when a Saudi Arabian company, ARASCO, purchased a bulk shipment of U.S. DDGS destined to reach Saudi Arabia in January 2014.
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 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.
For the past six years, Israel has been a small but steady buyer of U.S. corn co-products such as distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal as seen in the chart. U.S. feed grains have a difficult time competing in Israeli's market due to competition from the Black Sea region and from South America. Even with this competition, however, U.S. corn co-products have found a niche market in Israel.
The United States and the European Union announced the formal launch of the U.S.-EU negotiations on a trade and investment agreement during a G-8 meeting this week in Northern Ireland. Formal negotiations on the Transatlantic and Trade Investment Partnership (T-TIP) will begin the week of July 8 in Washington, D.C. The negotiations strive for an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement.