Swine Symposium, JCI Feed Grains Conference Highlight Council Engagement in China

A team from the United States joined the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) China staff at two events this week to present to Chinese stakeholders on the commitment, capacity and reliability of U.S. producers in serving the Chinese livestock industry.

Florentino Lopez, executive director of the U.S. Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP); Adam Baldwin, a sorghum farmer from Kansas, USGC Asia Advisory Team leader and USCP vice president; and Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade traveled for the 4th annual Swine Industry Symposium and the 11th annual JCI annual feed grains conference.

“The Council has worked in China for more than 30 years,” said Bryan Lohmar, director of China programs in USGC's Beijing office. “Our technical cooperation with China’s swine industry has been a foundation of our program in China, and the Swine Industry Symposiums, with other U.S. cooperators and associations in China, highlight our commitment to the development of this industry.

“The relationship is always evolving, but China is currently the leading importer of U.S. DDGS [distiller's dried grains with solubles] and U.S. sorghum, so our engagement is critical and useful.”

The Swine Industry Symposium, held in Beijing on Sept. 16, attracted approximately 250 participants drawn from industry, academia and government. The United States and China are the world’s two leading swine producing countries and experience many of the same management challenges. This year’s conference highlighted changing industry structure, including consolidation, and the trade-offs between integrated operations versus specialized operations using various contractual relationships.

The next day, the Council team travelled to Ningbo, which lies opposite Shanghai on Hangzhou Bay, to present at the JCI feed and livestock conference. JCI is a prominent Chinese agricultural market intelligence company, and its heavily attended conferences are key industry outreach and networking events. Baldwin presented a producer’s perspective on sorghum to the attendees.

“China has been the major buyer of U.S. sorghum for the past two years and demand continues to be strong,” Baldwin said. “We are here to let our partners know that U.S. farmers are eager to meet China’s demand for coarse grains. The important thing is clear market signals and reliability on both sides.”

In addition to the discussion on sorghum, the conference included presentations on a wide range of feed ingredients including soybeans, fish meal, corn and DDGS as well as sorghum.

The Council is a regular cosponsor of the JCI conferences, held twice a year for the past 11 years, and a cosponsor of the Swine Industry Symposium since its inception in 2012. Other sponsors include the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, the China Animal Agriculture Association and the China Meat Association, and the China Native Foodstuff Import/Export Association.