Amid myriad political, social and environmental changes around the world in 2019, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) was laser focused on finding new demand, building on it and keeping markets open for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. Details on this work are now available through the USGC 2019 Year In Review at grains.org/annualreport.
“While the year’s end culminated in positive news about trade agreements with some of our country’s largest trading partners, the Council understands our work is never complete,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand and USGC Chairman Darren Armstrong in a letter to members. “The more markets change, the more our work to access and develop them remains the same – to identify short-term opportunities and build on long-term demand to Make Something Happen for U.S. commodities around the world.”
Widespread weather challenges for U.S. crops made headlines in 2019, and there were movements on trade agreements with Japan, Mexico and Canada and, eventually, hints of a new beginning with China.
Through it all, Council staff around the globe were not deterred from their goals. Boot camps on contracts and risk management propelled corn sales in Central America; work with Spain resulted in additional sorghum sales; expanded brewing possibilities in both Mexico and China helped move barley; research increased DDGS deals in Ireland and Southeast Asia; efforts in Mexico and Vietnam led to ethanol growth in both countries; and the first-ever Global Ethanol Summit in Washington, D.C., impacted ethanol exposure and business around the world.
With an influx of Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Council set its sights on new and existing programs including an expanded offering in East and West Africa to create market opportunities for coarse grains, feeding trials and fuel station owner seminars in Mexico that resulted in expanded DDGS sales and increased ethanol usage, respectively.
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.