News & Events
The U.S. Grains Council is pleased to announce the promotion of Kevin Roepke to USGC regional director of South and Southeast Asia, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Roepke has served as the Council's director of trade development in the China office since January.
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.
With the onset of summer, hot and dry conditions swept across many of India’s key agricultural areas. Due in part to the El Niño weather phenomenon, monsoons essential to Indian agriculture are not coming as quickly as usual, leading to speculation over production and prices for summer crops.
By: Adel Yusupov, U.S. Grains Council Regional Director for Southeast Asia
In just six years Southeast Asia has undergone an amazing transformation into a rapidly modernizing economic powerhouse. Southeast Asia’s economy can be described by the trend sweeping the region: the rise of middle class consumers and companies chasing their wallets.
By: Adel Yusupov, U.S. Grains Council Regional Director of Southeast Asia
South and Southeast Asia’s rising feed demand amid a decrease in available local corn has resulted in a higher reliance on imported coarse grains and co-products. There is competition, however, with South and Southeast Asia importing corn from as many as 16 countries of origin. To encourage end-users to import U.S. grains, the U.S. Grains Council has lead led trade and technical education efforts in this region to increase knowledge of the quality and reliability of U.S. sourcing.
“The keys are planning and preparation,” said Jim Stitzlein, manager of market development for Consolidated Grain and Barge. “IP (identity preserved) programs can expand customer choice, but success can only come if there is a willingness to commit, and if interest is expressed early enough to allow coordination across the entire value chain.”
Stitzlein, a U.S. Grains Council delegate and Biotechnology Advisory Team member, noted that CGB for years has promoted both commodity and IP programs and has strengthened its relationships with growers willing to respond to the users’ needs. A recent example is a relatively new IP program created by CGB and its Japanese parent company, Zen-Noh, to source non-GM corn from the United States for Japan Corn Starch, a food manufacturer. The first shipments left Gulf ports in May.
The Philippines has been the target of rampant smuggling, fraud and price and quantity mis-declaration in commodity imports. To address these issues, the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently announced new regulations, effective June 1, 2014, requiring inspection and certification of all bulk and container imports at the port of loading, to be performed by one of a limited number of BOC-approved inspection companies. Importers are expected to absorb the costs of inspection, which are estimated to be $5-15 per metric ton, depending on the surveyor and the volume.
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.