Using Market Access Program (MAP) funds provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) was able to spring into action and leverage its relationship with the Saudi Arabian industry to reroute vessels of U.S. sorghum in transit when China announced an immediate preliminary anti-dumping duty on U.S. sorghum on April 18, 2018. The 178.6 percent anti-dumping tariff applied to U.S sorghum impacted 20 vessels routed for China.
Council staff were on the ground in Saudi Arabia during the week the China sorghum anti-dumping tariffs went into effect. Staff met with Saudi buyers to discuss the distressed sorghum vessels as well as to reiterate the benefits of using U.S. sorghum in feed formulations for Saudi’s poultry and livestock industries. Following the Council’s meetings in Saudi, four Panamax shipments of U.S. sorghum, amounting to approximately 280,000 metric tons valued at approximately $50 million, were re-directed to Saudi Arabia from China.
In October 2018, the Council continued these rapid response efforts using Section 108 funds to host a team comprised of the leading grain importers and end-users from Saudi Arabia to attend Export Exchange 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Export Exchange is a biennial event hosting domestic suppliers, international buyers and end-users of U.S. feed grains and co-products. The conference helped them better understand the global grain market for corn, corn co-products and sorghum and served as an opportunity to strengthen their relationships with U.S. grain suppliers and agribusinesses.
Following the events in Minneapolis, the Saudi team visited Nebraska and South Dakota to meet with U.S. corn and sorghum farmers and see firsthand the U.S. grain value chain. This served as an opportunity for grain buyers, who are also leading changes in their industry, to see firsthand U.S. feed grain production. They also met face-to-face with U.S. suppliers and exporters, which helps to build closer business relationships between them and the U.S. grains industry.
Following the Export Exchange program, the Saudi participants reported they purchased 320,000 tons of corn and corn co-products valued at $59.6 million. The Council invested approximatively $172,000 in 2018 in marketing programs for Saudi Arabia, generating $50 million in sorghum sales and $59.6 million in sales at Export Exchange, for a return on investment of (ROI) of $637 for every $1 of Section 108 and MAP funds invested.
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 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 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.