News & Events
By: Luis Bustamante, USGC Marketing Specialist for the Western Hemisphere
This past week, I presented a world corn market outlook at the Ecuadorian corn growers association’s (FENAMAIZ’s) forum that at the Technical State University of Quevedo.
The Ecuadorian farmers, practitioners and academics who attended the forum shared their concerns with me about local farms. One concern was that most of the local farmers have switched their farmland from corn production to cocoa, pineapple, rice and yucca.
Despite being the largest purchaser of U.S. barley in the 2014/2015 marketing year, there is still a widely-held perception in Mexico that European barley malt is of superior quality compared to U.S. barley malt. This week, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) made strides towards overcoming this perception by bringing a consultant from North Dakota State University to both meet individually with select Mexican craft brewers and make presentations to larger groups of industry participants.
“The craft beer industry has exploded substantially,” said USGC Marketing Specialist Javier Chavez, who traveled with the consultant. “It has shown a strong, two- to three- digit annual growth, and the trend is foreseen to continue. Therefore, this industry is likely to become an important barley malt-user in the coming years.”
In a recent survey, Latin American buyers put reliability and price at the top of their purchasing checklist, with country of origin and financing not perceived to be as critical. Factors occupying the middle ground included delivery time, supplier experience, market information and customer service.
This week’s U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Chart of Note illustrates the importance of trade liberalization, demonstrating that U.S. corn exports to four Latin American markets with recent free trade agreements (FTAs) have vastly outperformed U.S. corn exports to the rest of the world.
By: Javier Chavez, Marketing Specialist in Mexico, U.S. Grains Council
U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff and consultants recently completed a tour of Southeast Mexico to make presentations promoting U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to 23 ranchers in Chiapas. The attendees were presidents and chairmen of local cattle producer associations and represent an estimated 1.1 million head of cattle, more than 40 percent of the total cattle in the area.
Leaders from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the North Dakota Barley Council are set to travel to Cuba next week to continue the grain industry’s appraisal of the market potential for U.S. coarse grain exports and reengagement with key customers.
This mission will include a visit to a Cuban port, meetings with Cuban government officials and tours of the animal sectors in Cuba including beef, dairy and poultry.
By: Lyndsey Erb-Sharkey, Director of Industry Relations, U.S. Grains Council
Exports are predicted to consume 77 percent of U.S. sorghum production in the 2015/2016 marketing year, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. Building on this information, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) was an active participant in Export Sorghum, a two-day educational seminar held this week in Houston, Texas, for international buyers of U.S. sorghum hosted by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) and the Texas Grain Sorghum Producers.
The sorghum conference was geared toward creating networking opportunities while providing both domestic and international grain buyers with insights on sorghum markets, trade opportunities, contractual procedures and logistics.
This week’s U.S. Grains Council’s Chart of Note illustrates that Colombia is importing a similar amount of U.S. corn in the first four months of this calendar year as compared to last year and will likely exhaust its duty-free quota soon. This is in stark contrast to just two years before when only 18,500 metric tons (728,000 bushels) of U.S. corn were imported by Colombia from January to April 30. This large increase in the past two years was made possible by both greater availability and the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA).
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) presented the findings of its 2014/2015 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report to eager audiences in Colombia and Peru this week. These two countries both have such a large demand for U.S. corn that Peru filled their 2015 TRQ in just one week’s, and Colombia has filled 90 percent of its TRQ in just five months. Despite this, both countries' interest in purchasing U.S. corn has remained strong.
As of April 30, Colombia has imported more than 3.6 million metric tons (141.7 million bushels) of U.S. corn this marketing year, an increase of almost 1 million tons (40 million bushels) compared to last year at the same time. This comes on the heels of the 2013/2014 marketing year during which Colombia imported 2,100 percent more than in the 2012/2013 marketing year. The demand for U.S. corn in the market has increased so dramatically in large part as a result of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA), which allows U.S. corn imports to enter the country duty free.