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.
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.
"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.
By Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council regional director for the Middle East and Africa
The U.S. Grains Council created a foothold for distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in Jordan's market through a series of enterprises, including a DDGS feeding trial, a field day seminar with trial results and bringing a high-level Jordanian team to the United States. Since these initial ventures, Jordan has grown to import more than 20,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS in January through August 2013 compared to nothing in 2009.
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.
Dr. Hussein Soliman, director of the U.S. Grains Council's Egypt office, retired from the Council effective Sept. 30. He served as a highly successful director in Egypt since 1990 and as associate regional director from 1988 to 1990.
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.
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.