Outreach Blossoms With Regional Conferences, Quality Reports

When global buyers and end-users learn the value of U.S. corn, they often become repeat customers. The Council’s global network aims to make these connections in part through regular updates on crop progress, market conditions and supply availability.

This year, the Council held biennial regional buyers conferences in Latin America and Southeast Asia as hallmark events for grain users in those regions.

More than 100 buyers and sellers of U.S. coarse grains, representing 40 percent of the U.S. corn export market, gathered in Medellin, Colombia, in July for the Council’s 2015 Regional Buyers Conference in Latin America. They reported that reliability and price were at the top of their purchasing checklists, with country of origin and financing not perceived to be as critical.

In August, more than a fifth of Southern Asia and Oceania’s annual distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) sales volumes were either inked or discussed during the buyers conference in Southeast Asia. The 335,000 metric tons of DDGS valued at $81 million that was traded during the week of the conference marked a new record. In addition, during the conference about 300,000 tons (11.8 million bushels) of corn and approximately 1 million tons of soy (including soybeans and soybean meal) were sold or negotiated.

The Council also has also been promoting DDGS in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by bringing members to participate in consultations with sophisticated Saudi Arabian grain buyers and by having a longtime USGC consultant in Morocco who is also a poultry scientist travel regionally to have one-on-one meetings with local feed manufacturers and poultry producers. These meetings demonstrated how DDGS can reduce costs while maintaining or improving nutritional offerings for livestock.

Special outreach is also planned around the release of the Council’s annual quality reports, which this year included harvest and export cargo reports for both corn and sorghum. During these rollouts, USGC staff and farmer members conduct face-to-face meetings on an individual basis or through conferences to present the reports to customers and ultimately help the United States maintain its leadership status in the global marketplace.

By offering unique and well-regarded information to interested buyers and end-users, the Council enhances the relationships between U.S. producers and buyers of U.S. grains and builds confidence in both quality and the Council as a partner in the global grain trade.