News & Events
U.S. Grains Council staff just concluded a successful “road show” that brought together sorghum marketers with Mexican customers in Guadalajara, Torreón, Monterrey and Merida for briefings on U.S. sorghum supply, demand and pricing.
“We had 20 to 30 customers join us at each stop, and their comments at the debriefings were very positive,” reported Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of international operations – marketing.
“The ‘road show’ gave them a chance to broaden their contacts,” he explained. “It was also an opportunity for trade servicing, for us to answer their questions.”
Malting barley producers in Montana’s Golden Triangle increased their contracted acres with a Mexican brewery seven-fold this past week, entering the fourth year of a business relationship begun from simple introductions. This continuing, open-ended arrangement will be formally renewed during the brewer’s spring visit to the growers’ fields about 100 miles north of Great Falls, Mont.
While it is normal for U.S. sorghum prices to follow corn markets, the strength of global sorghum markets currently has U.S. Department of Agriculture’s farm price estimates for sorghum slightly higher than those of corn in 2010/2011.
Although sorghum acres have moved lower over the last decade, U.S. sorghum exports have remained stable, making exports a more important component of sorghum prices overall, said Erick Erickson, U.S. Grains Council special assistant for planning, evaluation and projects.
The U.S. Grains Council and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) recently hosted a group of Mexican grain buyers in Texas. USCP Marketing Director Florentino Lopez says missions like this are important because Mexico is the number one importer of U.S. sorghum. He says the buyers want to learn more about U.S. grain sorghum and the Council and Sorghum Checkoff are happy to oblige - giving them an opportunity to see U.S. sorghum and talk with those that produce it.
Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois corn growers and staff extended their recent travel in Mexico for the U.S. Grains Council’s 7th International Marketing Conference to include face-to-face meetings with beef and pork producers, commodity traders, feed mills, and even the rail transportation system in Mexico. USGC Manager of International Operations Alvaro Cordero escorted the group.
Ernesto Fernandez-Arias, general director of support to rural financing in Mexico, presented to nearly 200 attendees of the U.S. Grains Council’s 7th International Marketing Conference. According to Arias, Mexico’s agriculture industry production maintained a growing trend despite the world economic recession. The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was significant to Mexico as it has become a world leader in some international food markets. "Food exports have prompted the primary sector output.
In Tuesday morning’s general session, a question and answer panel discussion on trade with Mexico was held. Allan Mustard, minister counselor for the Office of Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Mexico City, introduced the panel.
The panelists and their specialties included:
Enrique Dominguez, director of the pork producers confederation; Ricardo Calderon, executive director of APPAMEX, a grain traders association; and Carlos Lopez Coello, poultry specialist at National University of Mexico.
With consumption of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) gradually growing in Mexico’s feed industry, Mexican feed producer Bachoco aims to increase its imports of the value-added product and has looked to the U.S. Grains Council and its network of experts for guidance. This week, a USGC-funded group traveled to Celaya, Mexico, where they lead a DDGS assessment workshop with Bachoco nutritionists, plant managers and a quality control specialist.