Monopolies, Reform Policies, MTBE and U.S. Ethanol Exports

Mexico ethanol

By: Ashley Kongs, U.S. Grains Council Manager of Ethanol Export Programs

This week, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and its partners, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), are conducting a mission to Mexico to explore the potential ethanol market in that country. This comes on the heels of Pemex’s announcement earlier this year that it would invest 880 million pesos ($58 million USD) in infrastructure upgrades to handle and blend ethanol into gasoline in Mexico. Pemex holds a monopoly on Mexico’s gasoline market.

Quality: A Key Factor in Competing for U.S. Market Share

train tracks

By: Erick Erickson, U.S. Grains Council Vice President

Corn quality, good and bad, is an issue often raised by customers as U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff promotes U.S. corn exports around the world. And while the specific quality requirements of an export shipment are established in individual sales contracts, the Council always is looking for ways to enhance the quality image, or the quality brand, of U.S. corn.

New Nutrient Labeling Framework has Implications for Food Barley in Japan

By: Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council Director in Japan

Beginning April 1, 2015, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) in Japan will be launching a new food labeling framework for foods with health functions. This new framework will allow for foods containing a functional nutrient to be advertised as such on their labels. Beta-glucan, which is contained in some U.S. barley varieties, is a nutrient that falls into this category as a substance lowering blood sugar level, also known as glycemic index.

Bringing the Corn Harvest Quality Report to The Caribbean Region

Dominican Republic

By: Manuel Sanchez, U.S. Grains Council Manager of Global Trade

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has a vital interest in the Western Hemisphere region, including the Caribbean. U.S. coarse grains and co-products have a natural market advantage in the region, although South American products have made inroads in recent years.

One such market is the Dominican Republic. Located only 800 miles (1,293 kilometers) away from the U.S. coast, it is a corn deficit country, importing 1.2 million metric tons (47 million bushels) annually.

Korea Experiences Record Corn Imports, Buying Majority From United States

By: Byong Ryol Min, U.S. Grains Council Director in Korea

Korea’s corn imports reached an all-time high of 10.2 million metric tons (401.6 million bushels) in 2014, with imports of coarse grains and other feed ingredients also climbing to a new record of 12.7 million tons (500 million bushels). Of feed corn imports, which make up 80 percent of Korea’s total corn imports, a majority - 53 percent - was from the United States.

Colombia: A Growing U.S. Corn Market With Potential for More

Colombia post-costa rica

By: Javier Chavez, U.S. Grains Council Marketing Specialist in Mexico

“We need more U.S. corn” was the greeting a U.S. Grains Council-escorted team received from Eudoro Acebedo, a Colombian poultry producer.

As a growing country that is experiencing dietary shifts toward higher-value calories, Colombians are poised to eat more meat, eggs and dairy. However, the mountainous country cannot produce enough grain to meet it needs. This presents the opportunity for export growth in coarse grains and co-products.

Reaching Through Politics to Serve a Growing Importer

Cary

By: Cary Sifferath, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa, U.S. Grains Council 

My 21 years of work with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has taken me many places and into many unusual situations. Two weeks ago, an otherwise ordinary trade servicing visit planned to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took one of those unexpected turns when it was announced just hours before I boarded my flight that King Abdullah - the world’s oldest ruling monarch who oversaw a country that controls 16 percent of the world’s known oil reserves – had died.

Progress Continues in Tanzania Through Food for Progress Program

Tanzania Food for Progress

By: Anne Zaczek, U.S. Grains Council Manager of Global Development Programs

The U.S. Council (USGC) is becoming recognized in Tanzania as a reliable source of information and a trusted partner following the launch of its Food for Progress program in that country earlier this year. The program has made advancement towards its primary goals: promoting quality feed formulations for poultry; developing self-sufficient industry associations for poultry producers and feed manufacturers; and improving broiler and layer production through training seminars.

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