High-Level Korean Feed Producer Team Leads To Purchases Of U.S. DDGS

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Using Market Access Funds (MAP), the U.S. Grains Council sponsored a seven-member food and feed grain import buyers team to the United States in July 2016, convincing one CEO to run additional trials of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and effectively double his company’s usage of the product.

The grain buyers team included a chairman, three CEOs and two executive staff members from top corn buying groups in Korea. Their itinerary focused on exploring U.S. grain exporting channels, meetings with U.S. companies who are seeking to enter the Korean market and directly experiencing the nutritional and economic benefits of U.S. DDGS through a visit to the ethanol plant and meeting with ethanol suppliers.

The CEO of Farmsco, one of Korea's leading poultry and swine feed producers, was one member of the team, representing a company reluctant to use DDGS for its feed ingredients. The visit helped change his perception, though, and he instructed his staff to test the quality of products from two companies immediately upon his return to Korea.

In September 2016, Farmsco bought and tested about 500 tons of DDGS from a supplier the CEO met on the July trade team, ultimately singing a purchase contract of 10,000 tons valued at $1.8 million with two different U.S. suppliers.

As a follow up to the contract, additional purchasing contracts are expected in 2017 between Farmsco and the suppliers they met on the team travel. Farmsco's use of DDGS in 2017 is expected to double to approximately 80,000 tons, worth approximately $15.2 million to U.S. DDGS exporters.

The Council invested $80,000 of MAP funds to organize and host this delegation, leading to a return on investment (ROI) of $23 for every $1 invested.