South Asia Combines Corn Quality, WASDE Reports To Build Confidence In U.S. Grains

The Council’s South Asia office recently held its virtual corn quality rollout webinar for 24 regional importers, feed manufacturers and feed users from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, combining it with the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) update and extra focus on freight logistics and container shipments.

“The goal for this event was to allow participants to walk away with a better understanding of the incoming corn crop complimented with the current supply and demand scenario for corn production and its impact on ethanol and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) from the WASDE,” said Alejandra Danielson Castillo, the Council’s director for South Asia.

“In addition, attendees gained an update on container market dynamics and how they can best prepare or hedge their logistics to increase their supplies of U.S. commodities.”

Before Council staff in Washington, D.C., presented the results from the latest corn quality report, attendees received a crop update from Colorado Corn Administrative Committee member and Council Middle East, Africa, South Asia A-Team member Troy Schneider. During the two-hour event, Guy Allen, an economist at the IGP Institute at Kansas State University, shared findings from the January WASDE report, followed by Guy Hindley, managing partner of dry projects at Howe Robinson Partners, UK, who discussed freight and container market logistics for both South Asia and Southeast Asia.

“Container shipments and freight are key topics for South Asian participants,” Danielson Castillo said. “Since container freight indexes are not generally quoting South Asia, it usually reflects an indicative price from either China or Singapore. It was helpful to get a South Asian perspective on how the current market trends in container shipments affect or influence the South Asian markets.”

According to trade estimates, Bangladesh is a net importer of feed ingredients and expected to grow each year with expanding consumer demand for meat proteins. The country produces 5.5 million metric tons of compound feed annually. With growing demand, the feed industry will exceed 6.0 million metric tons of feed production next year.

Corn demand is increasing as the poultry sector grows, so the country could end up importing 0.8 to 1.0 MMT (31 to 39 million bushels) of corn from the world market. Bangladesh is already a leading importer of DDGS in the region with significant growth potential. Educational webinars, like the one held recently, are intended to help feed millers become more aware of and interested in U.S. products.

Sri Lanka imports most of the feed ingredients it uses, including DDGS. While Nepal is a small importer, two of its main feed producers are looking to vertically integrate their operations and are interested in best practices. Pakistan has a sizeable dairy industry that is very early in its potential use of U.S. DDGS and U.S. corn.

“These virtual outreach programs are vital to maintaining contact with our regional customers, facilitating market information flow and promoting U.S. feed grains. The outlook for the South Asia feed industry is very optimistic, and the Council is positioned to be responsive to their needs and to introduce the U.S. industry to regional buyers,” Danielson Castillo said. “The Council’s newest office is located in this dynamic region because of the tremendous growth taking place in it.”

Read more about the Council’s work in South Asia.