USGC Education Mission Focuses on Growing Ireland and Israel Markets

Grain trade experts from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) visited Ireland and Israel late last year to meet with customers in those markets, which have become increasingly important if non-traditional importers of U.S. corn and co-products.

Ireland has imported 95,000 metric tons (3.7 million bushels) of U.S. corn in the first three months of this marketing year, which is nearly half the amount it imported the prior marketing year, 170,000 metric tons (6.7 million bushels). Israel imported 386,000 metric tons (15 million bushels) of U.S. corn in the last marketing year.

Both countries also imported significant quantities of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed, with Ireland importing 460,000 metric tons and Israel importing 327,000 metric tons of the two products combined.

All told, these two countries imported 1.34 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products from the United States since January 2016, and buyers in both countries see potential for increasing their purchases from the United States given the competitive pricing of corn and DDGS against other exporters.

Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade, and Dr. Alvaro Garcia from South Dakota State University visited feed grain importers in both countries to highlight buying opportunities.

"The Israeli buyers are very savvy price buyers, however they admitted that they are missing out on significant price opportunities to buy larger vessels out of the U.S. right now," Cordero said.

Cordero provided importers with information on freight rates spreads, which are currently very narrow, and encouraged importers to be more aggressive in their purchases of U.S. products in the coming months in order to take advantage of this buying opportunity.

Ireland has significant import opportunities also in both the poultry and ruminant sectors.

"Buyers in both countries are underutilizing U.S. DDGS, and trips like this once again highlight the importance of buyer education programs," Cordero said.

Pictures from this mission are here.