U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff from around the world were in London this week to attend the International Grains Council’s (IGC’s) Grains Conference as part of London Grains Week.
IGC’s annual international conference acts as a platform for dialogue between policymakers, organizations and operators throughout the grain value chain. The Council was grateful for the opportunity to join its counterparts around the world to talk more about the issues that matter most to the global grain industry.
The conference centered around four main sessions on economic growth, with a special focus on infrastructure and logistical investments required to cope with shocks throughout the supply chain; sustainability criteria and new trade policies in agricultural commodities; carbon trading plans and their potential use as a tool to incentivize climate change mitigation measures in the grains trade sector; and the future of biofuels within the context of renewable energy policy, particularly in the transportation sector.
USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand helped close out the first day’s agenda by joining a panel on the future of the biofuels sector amid decarbonization policies. LeGrand and others spoke on furthering the utilization of ethanol in a time when the electric vehicle sector is quickly expanding.
“With the many benefits and solutions that ethanol can provide to countries around the world, the Council is pleased to continue a dialogue with all markets looking to achieve immediate greenhouse gas reduction benefits from their existing vehicle fleet,” LeGrand said. “Ethanol is the most immediate solution to supporting climate change initiatives.”
Asia was highlighted as a regional focus of the conference, so USGC Regional Director for South Asia Alejandra Danielson-Castillo also took part in a speaker panel on the first day of the event – Regional Snapshot: Substitution Potential in Food-Grain Markets in Asia. Danielson-Castillo and four other panelists addressed the economic factors and trends within wheat and rice markets in key consuming Asian countries.
The second day of the conference offered a deeper look at specific commodities, including corn. Reece Cannady, USGC assistant director for the Middle East and Europe, took the stage with other panelists virtually to address the current state of the U.S. crop and how it fits into solving the food crisis many countries in the Mediterranean are facing.
“While there seems to be concern from buyers around the world that we may run out of corn, that is not the case,” Cannady said. “The world is estimated to have roughly 100 million metric tons of stocks outside of China by the end of 2023, and the U.S. is projected to have almost 35 percent of that. It’s very important that our buyers around the world stay tuned into this reality.”
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.