A combination of competitive freight prices and market-specific educational efforts from the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Middle East and Africa (MEA) Office has driven the first distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) container shipment ever received by Tunisia. The shipment, delivered earlier this month, marks the opening of new logistic opportunities in the Mediterranean region.
“The Council’s strategy is focusing on marketing the U.S. advantage in Tunisia for corn and corn co-products imports,” said Ramy Taieb, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa. “The feed industry in Tunisia is a mature market compared to other neighboring countries and the Council’s efforts have focused on trade servicing and promoting these products.”
With bulk carrier rates on several key routes currently higher than previous record levels, some cargo importers are seeking alternatives. This has boosted container rates in the United States, with feed grains importers near the Mediterranean Sea and Arab Gulf opting to use containers rather than bulk shipments to reduce feed costs.
Like other countries in the region, Tunisia’s livestock industry relies heavily on feed grain imports. The Council’s regional office in Tunis has actively supported the country’s protein demand growth for many years through promoting U.S. corn and its co-products, organizing events and hosting industry stakeholders in the states.
“Our goal has been to ensure both DDGS and corn gluten meal (CGM) are being appropriately incorporated into the feed ratio in the region,” said Taieb.
CGM has regularly been shipped in containers since 2019, with around 1,000 metric tons (MT) shipped per year – often to support aquaculture sector development. With funds from the U.S. State Department, the Council’s MEA office established a feed training center in Tunisia to educate participants on commercial feed and manufacturing practices that will modernize the feed and livestock industries in the region. The container shipment of DDGS, however, marks the continued growth of co-products to the area by different shipping methods.
“Our work to promote DDGS – in whatever form they may come – continues,” Taieb said. “We are amplifying the message that corn co-products can provide feed millers and end-users the improved performance in livestock they are looking for while reducing production costs. Getting them by container when prices are advantageous is yet another avenue we can use to increase our promotion efforts while answering the call from customers.”
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.