News & Events
The Philippines has been the target of rampant smuggling, fraud and price and quantity mis-declaration in commodity imports. To address these issues, the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently announced new regulations, effective June 1, 2014, requiring inspection and certification of all bulk and container imports at the port of loading, to be performed by one of a limited number of BOC-approved inspection companies. Importers are expected to absorb the costs of inspection, which are estimated to be $5-15 per metric ton, depending on the surveyor and the volume.
Negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) convened this week in Vietnam with a focus on resolving technical issues prior to next week’s TPP Ministerial meeting in Singapore. Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grain Council director of trade policy and biotechnology, was in Vietnam for industry meetings with chief negotiators for several countries including Vietnam, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Mexico.
“The sense of urgency is universal,” Gaibler said. “Negotiators from all countries are well aware of the clock. But at the same time, all of them recognize that there are some very difficult political decisions at stake, and that these will have to be resolved at the Ministerial level, or even higher.”
U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have gained popularity in markets around the world, with 9.7 million metric tons – valued at $2.9 billion – exported in 2013 to more than 45 countries. Behind this market expansion are Council-directed and implemented educational seminars and feeding trails, 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.
While Mexico is the third-largest market for U.S. DDGS, its southern region remains an underserved livestock sector with growth potential for U.S. exports. According to a 2012 Council assessment, the potential exists to more than double current exports by providing technical and practical education to local cattlemen. To further this effort the Council has conducted a feeding trial in the area.
Intensive efforts continue in Malaysia to seek clarification or amendment of new agricultural import regulations, which threaten to impose costly new burdens on a wide range of commodities from several exporting countries. The U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Soybean Export Council are working closely with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service Malaysia office and APHIS to reduce or eliminate the negative impact of these new regulations on U.S. export cargos. Local stakeholders in the Malaysian feed, trade and livestock sectors are also expressing their concerns to the Malaysian government.
Southeast Asia's imports of U.S. corn gluten meal (CGM) has swelled this past year by 47 percent, nearly reaching 400,000 metric tons. This is a vital market for U.S. CGM with three of the top 10 U.S. export markets located in the region.
Indonesia alone, the largest overall market, accounted for 25 percent of the U.S. export market, importing more than 256,000 tons of CGM in 2013, valued at $176 million—a 36 percent increase from 2012. This record level of U.S. CGM imports was driven by a large demand for a high-quality protein source from Indonesia's poultry industry.
In 2013, Southeast Asia imported just over 1 million metric tons of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) from the United States, an increase from 2012.
The numbers for January 2014 are strong and tracking ahead of 2013 in year-over-year comparison: 110,112 tons for 2014 versus 93,304 tons in 2013. One reason for this – other than Vietnam increasing its imports by more than 22,000 tons – is the addition of Myanmar (Burma) to the list of importing countries.
In recent years, Vietnam has emerged as a consistent market for U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), but corn exports have been constrained by regional competition from India and a $5 to 7 per ton shipping advantage for South America versus U.S. corn from the Gulf. A recent spike in U.S. corn exports, however, is providing an opportunity for the U.S. Grains Council to educate buyers about U.S. quality and reliability.