News & Events
Two U.S. Grains Council (USGC) consultants, Dr. Gerald Shurson and Dr. Scott Beyer, are in China this week on a trade servicing mission to provide the local industry with technical information about U.S. sorghum and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS).
As reported in last week’s Global Update, China continues to be the top importer of U.S. DDGS and sorghum despite the current uncertainties in the local economy and uneasiness about trade with the country in the international grain market.
This week’s U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Chart of Note illustrates China’s dominance in purchasing U.S. sorghum for the marketing year from Sept. 1, 2014 to Aug. 31, 2015. As of Aug. 27, China accounted for 98 percent of U.S. sorghum exports, buying more than 8.3 million metric tons (326.8 million bushels).
China continues to be the top importer of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and sorghum despite the current uncertainties in the Chinese economy and uneasiness about trade with the country in the international grain market. Factors contributing to the ambiguity in the Chinese market include a very large corn harvest in China set to begin soon, a new regulatory system for grain importers and an ongoing discussion about the support price of corn in China.
Sorghum, also known as milo, represents the third-largest cereal grain grown in the United States. Even though grain sorghum is grown in a relatively small geographic area of the United States, production is on the rise because of increased demand. In its June acreage report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA’s NASS) estimated planted grain sorghum acres at 8.84 million (3.58 million hectares), an 11 percent increase from its March report and a 24 percent increase compared to 2014.
Attending the 2015 APPAMEX North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) Forum last week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) representatives were peppered with questions about China, sorghum and the likely implications for Mexican buyers, showing strong interest the commodity despite China’s recent buying surge and its effect on world prices.
Attending the event on behalf of the Council were Julio Hernandez, USGC director in Mexico; Mike Dwyer, USGC chief economist; and Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade.
“Mexican end-users are intrigued by how China now controls the sorghum market, and they wonder what to expect in the next few months,” Hernandez said.
A major Japanese network TV station aired an original story introducing U.S. white sorghum as a healthy grain to roughly 1 million consumers last month, a major milestone for the U.S. Grains Council’s local multi-year promotion of the food ingredient.
Three U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) delegates – Randy Ives of Gavilon; Ray Defenbaugh of Big River Resources; and Stan Garbacz from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture – were honored for 10 years of service to the organization at its 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting this week in Montreal, Canada.
Asked about their experiences with the Council, the three told different stories but were unanimous in recognizing its value.
The highlight for Ives has been seeing the ethanol industry come together to meet challenges from antidumping cases to biotechnology acceptance.
Jerry Wang, delegate for Living Water Integra Trade Inc., and Russ Hurlbert, delegate for the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation were honored for five years of service to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) during the organization’s 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting held this week in Montreal, Canada.
For both men, their years of service to the Council have brought practical rewards.
“It’s been an excellent experience working with the Council, and especially with the value-added Advisory Team (A-Team),” Wang said. “I learned a lot and also gave a lot of insights I have in the grain industry. The Council always listens to the members’ opinions.”
Nearly 240 U.S. Grains Council (USGC) delegates and members are departing Montreal, Canada, the site of the Council’s 55th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting held this week, committed to a year celebrating the theme Excellence in Exports and focused on the work the Council needs to do to build demand, remove trade barriers and provide customer service to overseas buyers.
The first of three U.S. Grains Council (USGC) videos chronicling the 2015 U.S. corn growing season is now available online, highlighting planting conditions on farms in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.
The segment is available online at http://tinyurl.com/plant15
The story of the 2015 U.S. corn crop began with widespread cool temperatures across the U.S. Corn Belt that delayed planting.