Continued Technical Exchange Is Key To Capturing Market Share In North Africa

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) shared the latest nutritional and economic information about U.S. corn and co-products with more than 40 feed grain buyers and end-users from Tunisia and Algeria over the last two weeks. These virtual learning opportunities were a continuation of the long-term exchange of information that has proved foundational to establishing new markets in North Africa.

“Strong, ongoing relationships can be a catalyst for changes in policy, trading practices, demand and U.S. market share,” said Ramy Taieb, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa. “The Council is operating as effectively as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, including by ensuring our customers globally have access to accurate and reliable market information.”

The webinars provided the latest insights into the U.S. feed grains market and an overview of the nutritional and economic value of using U.S. coarse grains and co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), in animal feeds.

While DDGS is a relatively new ingredient in both Tunisia and Algeria, end-users in the region are also becoming more interested in incorporating DDGS into feed formulations, thanks in part to the Council’s work to provide information and insights into the nutritional composition of DDGS and the logistics of the U.S. supply chain.

“Trade has continued throughout the pandemic, and the Council is continuing to conduct trade servicing activities to capture the current high interest in corn and DDGS and take advantage of pricing opportunities when they arise,” Taieb said.

The virtual exchanges complement the Council’s in-person market development work in the region. Since 2017, the Council has conducted a comprehensive train-the-trainer program to provide Tunisian feed manufacturers with the technical knowledge and practical experience needed to address production inefficiencies across. The program included the establishment of a Center for Feed Manufacturing in Tunis, Tunisia – housed at the National Institute of Agronomy of Tunisia (INAT).

Over the past year, more than 180 feed industry professionals have attended the feed and livestock management training program, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of State. As a continuation of this program, the first team from the Algerian feed industry attended an in-classroom regional training program in late 2019. The program, conducted the at INAT’s recently-established Feed Training Center, combined technical instruction on feed manufacturing and animal nutrition with practical, hands-on training.

Combining these efforts helps position U.S. coarse grains and co-products to capture growing feed demand in Tunisia and neighboring North African countries.

As a result of the Council’s educational and trade servicing efforts, buyers in Tunisia and Algeria have purchased six vessels of U.S. corn, equal to 7.9 million bushels, since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020.

“The Council’s programs help increase awareness by major Tunisian and Algerian feed grain importers of the nutritional and economic value of U.S. corn and DDGS,” Taieb said. “As such, maintaining relationships with key customers in the region is imperative and a priority for the Council, even in today’s unique circumstances.”

Learn more about the Council’s work in Tunisia.