News & Events
China’s new inspection and permit regime for U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) has created increased interest for DDGS in other markets around the world. Contracts continue to be written and DDGS continue to be shipped to China. However, with the new uncertainty and disruption in trade with China, bargain hunters elsewhere are sensing opportunity.
In the 2012/2013 marketing year, that ran Sept. 1, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2013, Mexico was the top importer of U.S. sorghum importing more than 2.1 million metric tons (82.7 million bushels) valued at nearly $585 million. Meanwhile, in the 2013/2014 marketing year through June 19, 2014, Mexico’s outstanding sales and accumulated exports only total 108,000 tons (4.2 million bushels). This decline is driven in part by China’s surge in purchasing U.S. sorghum, which has prompted Mexican buyers to shift to U.S. corn. However, Mexico will always be a long-term U.S.
The Nebraska Corn Board sponsored one student this year for an international internship with the U.S. Grains Council. This week, the Council welcomed its summer intern in the Panama City office, Mattingly Perlinger.
Negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) convened this week in Vietnam with a focus on resolving technical issues prior to next week’s TPP Ministerial meeting in Singapore. Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grain Council director of trade policy and biotechnology, was in Vietnam for industry meetings with chief negotiators for several countries including Vietnam, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Mexico.
“The sense of urgency is universal,” Gaibler said. “Negotiators from all countries are well aware of the clock. But at the same time, all of them recognize that there are some very difficult political decisions at stake, and that these will have to be resolved at the Ministerial level, or even higher.”
U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have gained popularity in markets around the world, with 9.7 million metric tons – valued at $2.9 billion – exported in 2013 to more than 45 countries. Behind this market expansion are Council-directed and implemented educational seminars and feeding trails, complimented by consistent end-user contact and support. In emerging markets around the world, the Council continues to work to expand the market for U.S. DDGS.
While Mexico is the third-largest market for U.S. DDGS, its southern region remains an underserved livestock sector with growth potential for U.S. exports. According to a 2012 Council assessment, the potential exists to more than double current exports by providing technical and practical education to local cattlemen. To further this effort the Council has conducted a feeding trial in the area.
After several years of lagging behind competitors from South America – for reasons ranging from quality concerns to high prices to a lack of ratified free trade agreements – grain exports from the United States to the Western Hemisphere are rebounding dramatically. So far this marketing year (Sept. 1 through April 17), U.S. corn exports have totaled more than 12 million metric tons (472 million bushels) versus 4 million tons (157 million bushels) over the same period last year.
"It is important for our customers to know and understand just what happened throughout the crop year," said Deb Keller, U.S. Grains Council at-large director. "And being there, meeting face-to-face with our end-users, engaging in year-long conversations, keeps us part of the game."
Last week, USGC representatives traveled throughout Mexico to present the findings of the Council's 2013/2014 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report to importers and end-users.
"The U.S. Grains Council remembers the 1960 'hog lift' to Japan as our founding event," said Council President and CEO Tom Sleight, "and still today, anything that hurts hogs hurts many of our oldest and best customers around the world. The current swine epidemic is a serious matter for many of them, and therefore for us."
Last week, officers of the U.S. Grains Council and National Corn Growers Association wrapped-up an almost two-week trip to Colombia and Mexico. They met with key customers and end-users who were excited host the joint-officers and discuss further deepening the already robust trade partnership with the United States.
Mexico is leading the world as the top U.S. corn export customer with accumulated exports of more than 5.7 million metric tons (224 million bushels) from Sept. 1, 2013, through March 27, 2014, an increase of 250 percent over the same time period last year. Additionally, Colombia is making a comeback as a regular buyer of U.S. corn, with accumulated exports totalling more than 1.7 million tons (66 million bushels) from Sept. 1, 2013, to March 27, 2014.