Council Members See Market Development In Action On Grain Export Mission

Corn and sorghum growers from across the United States are in Southeast Asia (SEA) this week as part of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) annual Grain Export Mission (GEM). The mission was designed to help cultivate the next generation of U.S. agricultural leaders in addition to showcasing the Council’s work to develop markets, enable trade and improve lives.

“I think it’s really important for grower-leaders to come on missions like this to grow our export markets, especially in Southeast Asia,” said Dylan Rosier, USGC Western Hemisphere Advisory Team leader and member of Missouri Corn Merchandising Council. “There are a ton of possibilities in this region, and because of the work of the Council, the local farmer at home doesn’t have to worry about growing the market themselves.”

GEM participants included USGC members from Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota. While on the ground in Vietnam and Thailand, participants met with key end-users, Council partners and trading company representatives to learn about the market for U.S. grain and co-products in the region. They also had the opportunity to observe the activities the Council is executing to develop Southeast Asian markets as well as better understand local conditions, trade opportunities and constraints.

“This program is a great opportunity for new delegates to see firsthand the work they are supporting and gain an understanding of the opportunity and value of the programs, projects and people we have around the world,” said Ellen Zimmerman, USGC director of industry relations.

Participants also had the unique opportunity to share insights with foreign buyers about producing coarse grains in the U.S. During a half-day seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, participants presented the latest corn and sorghum harvest quality reports, discussed opportunities for coarse grains and co-products and broke down barriers to increased demand.

For the 2022/2023 marketing year, Vietnam was the ninth largest market for U.S. grains in all forms (GIAF), the third largest market for U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and the ninth largest market for U.S. poultry and poultry products. Thailand was the ninth largest market for U.S. corn gluten feed and meal as well as the 11th largest market for U.S. DDGS during the same time period, exhibiting strong demand for U.S. products and with room to grow.

“As we close out the week in Southeast Asia, participants will reflect on what they learn and we look forward to seeing how they will continue to engage with the Council for years to come,” Zimmerman said.