News & Events
Dr. Hussein Soliman, director of the U.S. Grains Council's Egypt office, retired from the Council effective Sept. 30. He served as a highly successful director in Egypt since 1990 and as associate regional director from 1988 to 1990.
The booming economies of developing Asia continue to dominate the near term outlook for food and feed demand, but the question of "what next?" is never far from the surface. With its large and rapidly growing populations and enormous resource base, sub-Saharan Africa is commanding renewed attention.
The U.S. Grains Council, in September 2012, successfully fostered the removal of the value added tax (VAT) and custom tax on all feed imports in Algeria, including distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF). Last week that effort paid off with the first importation of the high-value U.S. products into the nation.
For the past six years, Israel has been a small but steady buyer of U.S. corn co-products such as distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal as seen in the chart. U.S. feed grains have a difficult time competing in Israeli's market due to competition from the Black Sea region and from South America. Even with this competition, however, U.S. corn co-products have found a niche market in Israel.
The situation in Egypt remains unsettled, and the U.S. Grains Council's first priority is ensuring the safety of our staff.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo was closed on Sunday, July 14 (a work day in Egypt) and reopened on Monday, July 15. The Embassy currently has posted a security message to U.S. citizens warning of possible demonstrations on Friday, July 19. The Council's Cairo office was closed Monday but opened Tuesday and Wednesday. The staff will make a day-to-day decision on whether the streets are quiet enough for safe travel between home and office.
The situation in Egypt continues to be fluid. As of Tuesday of this week, U.S. Grains Council staff in Cairo reports that the streets are quieter, people are beginning to venture out, and local stores seem to be well stocked with food for Ramadan, which began Monday. The political situation, however, remains unpredictable, as all parties continue to discuss their next steps following the army's ouster last week of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Massive demonstrations in Egypt and throughout this second round of protesting has the U.S. Grains Council stressing the importance of staff security. As the military's ultimatum deadline came and went, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi urged the military not to take sides and offered a consensus government as a solution to the upheaval.