USDA and USGC Representatives Welcome Historic U.S. Corn Shipment to Vietnam

On May 3, 2018, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) representatives welcomed the first direct shipment of U.S. corn since 2016 as it arrived at the port of Cai Lan.

The detection of quarantined pests in 2016 led to import suspensions last year after the Vietnamese Plant Protection Department (PPD) issued a decision to institute new fumigation requirements for U.S. corn shipments and temporarily suspended DDGS importation.

The Vietnamese government eased requirements for phosphine fumigation treatment for U.S. corn imports and lifted its suspension of U.S. DDGS imports in September 2017, following an intense effort by the Council, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in cooperation with PPD and local industry members in Vietnam. The groups worked together to address the Vietnamese government’s concerns and help return open access to one of the fastest growing feed markets in the world.

“The Council, USDA and industry efforts on this specific trade barrier in Vietnam provide a remarkable example of teamwork from the Council’s membership and government agencies in both countries,” said Manuel Sanchez, USGC regional director for Southeast Asia. “This cargo represents the success of U.S. coarse grains and co-products freely competing in the largest market in Southeast Asia.”

The cargo of 67,000 metric tons (2.64 million bushels) of U.S. corn originated in the Pacific Northwest and is the first of three cargoes arriving into the port in the next six weeks. Vietnamese importers in attendance noted the high quality of the corn and the importance of strong relationships with U.S. suppliers.

The feed ingredients will be delivered to end-users in Vietnam’s rapidly expanding dairy and livestock sectors. Vietnam produces approximately 30 million tons of feed annually. U.S. corn and other feed ingredients are helping fill that demand with exports nearing $700 million per year.

“Vietnam is the largest corn importer in Southeast Asia with tremendous growth opportunities for U.S. coarse grain imports over the next five years,” Sanchez said. “Vietnam’s growing population, urbanization and rapid economic growth have encouraged tremendous feed demand expansion in Vietnam’s commercial feed and livestock sectors.”

The Council helps support the export of U.S. corn through trade servicing and technical education with Vietnamese end-users. Vietnam has also re-emerged as a top importer of U.S. DDGS, used mainly in swine and poultry diets to complement the use of imported corn and soybean meal.

Thus far in the 2017/2018 marketing year (September 2017-March 2018), Vietnam has imported nearly 321,000 tons (12.6 million bushels) of U.S. corn, a 61 percent increase year-over-year, in addition to 572,000 tons of U.S. DDGS. These strong upward sales are promising for the market’s return as one of the top markets for U.S. corn and co-products.