News & Events
The release of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) 2014/2015 Corn Harvest Quality Report has become a globally anticipated event. Within days of its release, the Council started presenting the annual report’s findings to customers in overseas markets to provide them the critical information they need to make informed purchases and build confidence in the quality of this year’s U.S. corn crop.
Marking 15 years with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Kurt Shultz said it’s the challenges that keep him working to expand export markets.
“The Council has always challenged me in the positions I’ve had,” said Shultz, now USGC director of global strategies.
“I started out as a manager of international operations, and I was given a lot of responsibility – much more than I would ever have expected – and each position since has brought new challenges. It’s been a rewarding environment.”
Turkey is effectively no longer accepting imports of U.S. corn co-products following the stepped-up enforcement of existing biosafety laws that restrict which genetically modified (GM) corn varieties may enter the country’s grain supply.
As of Monday, three shipments of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have been rejected following the detection of unapproved GM events, and for the same reason at least one other vessel of U.S. DDGS has been diverted from Turkey to another buyer while on the water.
Last month, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) escorted an Egyptian team of buyers on a crop tour in Nebraska following the group’s participation in the biennial Export Exchange 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Egypt last year rebounded to be a large market for U.S. corn and corn co-product imports, especially distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten meal (CGM).
In 2013, buyers from Saudi Arabia and Jordan imported more than 1,000 metric tons and 20,000 tons of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) respectively. Both markets have much room for expansion in their use of U.S. DDGS in both the livestock and poultry sectors. To educate buyers and increase interest in U.S. corn co-products, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) escorted a team of major importers from these countries to the Midwest before holding its biennial Export Exchange so these key customers could see U.S. DDGS infrastructure firsthand.
In the past marketing year that ended Aug. 31, U.S. corn exports to Egypt rebounded to 2.6 million metric tons (102.4 million bushels), a pace that does not appear to be slowing with 270,600 tons (10.7 million bushels) of U.S. corn already imported into the country in the new marketing year, as of Oct. 2. This is made all the more remarkable by the fact that in the 2012/2013 marketing year, Egypt imported no U.S. corn.
While price is an important consideration for buyers of corn and other commodities, the United States’ reputation for reliability and honesty is also a significant market asset. The U.S. Grains Council has been promoting these benefits in top markets around the globe and will continue to do so as the United States begins harvest for another record corn crop.
The United States exported more than 11 percent of the U.S. corn supply in the 2013/2014 marketing year, which ended Aug. 31. More than 100 countries purchased the U.S. commodity.
Exports of both U.S. corn and U.S. sorghum finished the 2013/2014 market year strong, with increases of more than 150 percent and 200 percent over the same time period last year, respectively.
The United States recorded its highest ever monthly exports of distiller’s dried grain with solubles (DDGS) in July, bringing the total U.S. DDGS exported this marketing year to 7.2 million metric tons, a 48 percent increase over the same time period last year.
Behind this market expansion are U.S. Grains Council educational seminars and feeding trials, complimented by consistent end-user contact and support. In emerging markets around the world, the Council continues to work to expand the market for U.S. DDGS.