U.S. Sorghum Exports to Mexico Rebound After Successful Marketing Program

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Utilizing Market Access Program (MAP) funds, the U.S Grains Council’s Mexico office has maintained a robust sorghum marketing program and active engagement with the traditional importers of U.S. sorghum in Mexico, allowing for their quick return to the market as global dynamics and price changed.

In 2014, the surge in China’s sorghum imports was one of the most dramatic trade shifts of recent years. Mexico, the traditional top purchaser of U.S. sorghum, faced tight supplies and high prices for the commodity, with imports plummeting from more than 1.4 million tons during the 2013/2014 marketing year to almost nothing in the 2014/2015 marketing year. However, in the 2015/2016 marketing year, Mexico returned to the scene, importing 647,000 metric tons of U.S. sorghum, a significant increase from the mere 150,000 metric tons in the previous year.

Over the past two years, the Council has continued to service the market and has maintained direct contact with the large sorghum importers to keep them informed of the existing market dynamics and opportunities that exist.

In one such 2016 activity, the Council partnered with the Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Association to hold a sorghum promotion program designed to provide end users with the latest information on the U.S. sorghum market. As a result of the mission, the end users in Torreon, Jalisco and Yucatan learned that sorghum could be competitively priced if directly sourced from cooperatives either by 25 rail car trains or by small vessel.

As a direct outcome of this program, almost 57,000 metric tons of sorghum was contracted by Chapa Quiroga and Imporagri, of which 10,000 metric tons was directly contracted from Texas Sorghum cooperatives. The Council expects to see more sales coming from the direct sales missions like this in the future.

This type of continued engagement and promotion allows the Council to swiftly recover markets when the opportunity arises. The Council invested $78,000 of MAP funds in our sorghum marketing program in 2016, with sales as a direct result valued at $10.2 million and a net return on investment (ROI) of $130 per $1 of MAP funds invested.