Irish Hog Producers Participate In Council DDGS Marketing Program

Following up on previous marketing programs in Ireland, the Council hosted a virtual seminar for the Irish feed and swine industries to update them on the latest developments in swine nutrition and the nutritional profile of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS).

The Irish hog feed market accounts for roughly 1.5 MMT of compound feed. However, Irish producers have experienced volatile demand for hogs after the 2018 spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) dramatically reduced the Chinese domestic swine herd, resulting in a surge in demand for pork imports. This shock was felt all over the European Union (EU), as pork producers bolstered production due to rising prices available in the export market.

Corn and feed grain importers, feed millers and livestock farmers from Ireland attended the workshop to discuss U.S. corn co-products supply and demand fundamentals, followed by a presentation by Malachy Young, a swine nutritionist, on the benefits of using DDGS in swine diets and how to maximize DDGS inclusion rates and profitability.

Leading the Council’s engagement in Ireland, Reece Cannady, USGC manager of global trade, sees a considerable opportunity for U.S. DDGS in the Irish market for shipment in the coming months. Currently, there are more competitive alternatives from South America pricing their way into feedstock imports and pork rations, but Cannady said he’s confident pork producers will be ready to use high inclusion rates to realize maximum savings.

“Continued outreach to buyers in Ireland ensures they trust in the quality of U.S. product and are confident they can count on U.S. DDGS availability during a time when global feed demand is as strong as ever,” Cannady said. “These cost savings will be crucial for any end-user, and the data we’ve provided them suggests they can push their DDGS inclusion rates to as high as 30 percent in hog rations—or even higher, in some instances.”

The Council has worked consistently to form partnerships within the Irish market and provide producers and agribusinesses with reliable tools and resources for procurement. A 2019, a USGC partnership delivered the first swine feed ration trial conducted in Ireland using U.S. DDGS with Irish feedstocks on domestic swine. With results released in early 2020, the study found a favorable impact of DDGS in finishing swine diets, leading to larger inclusion rates throughout the country.

“Prior to the feeding trial and our 2019 visits, there really was very little DDGS being put into swine diets in Ireland, even when the price was very advantageous,” Cannady said. “But being able to put forth concrete evidence to feed millers in Ireland has brought us great results, leading to an expansion of DDGS use outside the beef and dairy industries there.”

Ireland is a leading purchaser of U.S. corn co-products, with over 572 TMT shipped in the 2019/2020 marketing year and over 42.5 percent of U.S. corn gluten feed exports heading for the island during the same timeframe.