USGC Opens Doors for DDGS Distributors, End-Users in Southern Mexico

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.

Export Sorghum Event Builds Connections With Top U.S. Customers


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.

Monopolies, Reform Policies, MTBE and U.S. Ethanol Exports

Mexico ethanol

By: Ashley Kongs, U.S. Grains Council Manager of Ethanol Export Programs

This week, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and its partners, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), are conducting a mission to Mexico to explore the potential ethanol market in that country. This comes on the heels of Pemex’s announcement earlier this year that it would invest 880 million pesos ($58 million USD) in infrastructure upgrades to handle and blend ethanol into gasoline in Mexico. Pemex holds a monopoly on Mexico’s gasoline market.

Quality: A Key Factor in Competing for U.S. Market Share

train tracks

By: Erick Erickson, U.S. Grains Council Vice President

Corn quality, good and bad, is an issue often raised by customers as U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff promotes U.S. corn exports around the world. And while the specific quality requirements of an export shipment are established in individual sales contracts, the Council always is looking for ways to enhance the quality image, or the quality brand, of U.S. corn.

New Nutrient Labeling Framework has Implications for Food Barley in Japan

By: Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council Director in Japan

Beginning April 1, 2015, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) in Japan will be launching a new food labeling framework for foods with health functions. This new framework will allow for foods containing a functional nutrient to be advertised as such on their labels. Beta-glucan, which is contained in some U.S. barley varieties, is a nutrient that falls into this category as a substance lowering blood sugar level, also known as glycemic index.

Bringing the Corn Harvest Quality Report to The Caribbean Region

Dominican Republic

By: Manuel Sanchez, U.S. Grains Council Manager of Global Trade

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has a vital interest in the Western Hemisphere region, including the Caribbean. U.S. coarse grains and co-products have a natural market advantage in the region, although South American products have made inroads in recent years.

One such market is the Dominican Republic. Located only 800 miles (1,293 kilometers) away from the U.S. coast, it is a corn deficit country, importing 1.2 million metric tons (47 million bushels) annually.

Korea Experiences Record Corn Imports, Buying Majority From United States

By: Byong Ryol Min, U.S. Grains Council Director in Korea

Korea’s corn imports reached an all-time high of 10.2 million metric tons (401.6 million bushels) in 2014, with imports of coarse grains and other feed ingredients also climbing to a new record of 12.7 million tons (500 million bushels). Of feed corn imports, which make up 80 percent of Korea’s total corn imports, a majority - 53 percent - was from the United States.

Colombia: A Growing U.S. Corn Market With Potential for More

Colombia post-costa rica

By: Javier Chavez, U.S. Grains Council Marketing Specialist in Mexico

“We need more U.S. corn” was the greeting a U.S. Grains Council-escorted team received from Eudoro Acebedo, a Colombian poultry producer.

As a growing country that is experiencing dietary shifts toward higher-value calories, Colombians are poised to eat more meat, eggs and dairy. However, the mountainous country cannot produce enough grain to meet it needs. This presents the opportunity for export growth in coarse grains and co-products.

Reaching Through Politics to Serve a Growing Importer


By: Cary Sifferath, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa, U.S. Grains Council 

My 21 years of work with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has taken me many places and into many unusual situations. Two weeks ago, an otherwise ordinary trade servicing visit planned to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took one of those unexpected turns when it was announced just hours before I boarded my flight that King Abdullah - the world’s oldest ruling monarch who oversaw a country that controls 16 percent of the world’s known oil reserves – had died.