Seeing is often believing, which is why the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) brought corn and feed grain buyers from Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to the U.S. Corn Belt in September to talk firsthand with U.S. farmers and export suppliers.
U.S. Grains Council (USGC) staff and consultants conducted a program in Egypt this week to promote distiller’s dried grain with solubles (DDGS) in aqua rations. This program was done in conjunction with Mirasco, a USGC member company that has a large client base within the Egyptian aquaculture industry.
The release of the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) 2014/2015 Corn Harvest Quality Report has become a globally anticipated event. Within days of its release, the Council started presenting the annual report’s findings to customers in overseas markets to provide them the critical information they need to make informed purchases and build confidence in the quality of this year’s U.S. corn crop.
In the past marketing year that ended Aug. 31, U.S. corn exports to Egypt rebounded to 2.6 million metric tons (102.4 million bushels), a pace that does not appear to be slowing with 270,600 tons (10.7 million bushels) of U.S. corn already imported into the country in the new marketing year, as of Oct. 2. This is made all the more remarkable by the fact that in the 2012/2013 marketing year, Egypt imported no U.S. corn.
“A year ago, North Africa was dropping off the charts in terms of U.S. corn sales,” said U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight. “But this year, Egypt may take more corn (whole grain) than China, and Morocco and Tunisia are again buying U.S. corn.”
For the current marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2013 through May 15, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia have taken a combined 2.1 million metric tons (82.7 million bushels) of U.S. corn (accumulated exports plus outstanding sales), compared to nothing over the same period last marketing year.
According to USDA's Production, Supply and Distribution database, Egypt is expected to import 6.2 million metric tons (244 million bushels) of corn in the year that began Oct. 1, 2013, which is the second highest level of corn imports to Egypt ever. In this dramatic turnaround, the United States is projected to enjoy at least a 30 percent market share in the 2013/2014 marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2014, after the market share dropping to less than one percent during the 2012/2013 marketing year. The U.S.
- Largest corn market in the region, 8.2 MMT imports in CY 2016.
- Nearly 6 MMT of local corn crop, mostly white corn.
- #1 import market for U.S. CGM importing 143 TMT in MY 2016; #12 import market for U.S. DDGS with 132 TMT in MY 2016.
- Price-sensitive market; quality less important than price.
The Council has been active in Egypt for more than 30 years with programs to build demand in the bovine sector (dairy, beef and buffalo); marketing of co-products and value-added grains; and policy engagement with grain inspection and biotechnology. Over many years, the Council has developed strong ties to the Egyptian industry. It will maintain those relationships to search out prospects for renewed demand growth and recovering U.S. market share.
Things are looking up for U.S. corn exports to the Middle East and North Africa region.
"With U.S. corn priced competitively again, U.S. market share in the Middle East and North Africa region has potential to expand," said Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council regional director in the Middle East and Africa. "The region is already seeing an increase in U.S. corn imports."