Promoting the U.S. Brand to Saudi Grain Buyers and End-Users

By: Cary Sifferath, Senior Director of Global Programs, U.S. Grains Council  

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently hosted in the U.S. Midwest a trade team from Saudi Arabia made up of feed grain importers and end-users. During their travels, members of the team learned how U.S. corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are produced and sold worldwide, which is part of an effort to regain and maintain U.S. market share of Saudi grain imports.

As of Aug. 27, Saudi Arabian importers had purchased 1.3 million metric tons (51.2 million bushels) of U.S. corn for the 2014/2015 marketing year, up 400,000 tons (15.7 million bushels) from the previous year at the same time. However, this year they have purchased a limited quantity of U.S. DDGS despite the fact that this corn co-product is included on the subsidy list that drives which feed ingredients are imported and used.

The subsidies are set based on the protein and energy value of each ingredient. Because of this, it is vital that buyers and end-users understand the U.S. grain marketing and handling system, including contract specifications and quality standards so they can import the grains they need. 

This team was a step towards that goal. The team members had meetings with U.S. producers, suppliers and exporters of corn and corn co-products at which they learned about U.S. corn and DDGS quality and how to get the ingredients that meet their requirements.

The team left the United States with renewed confidence in the United States’ ability to provide them with the feed ingredients they desire. This team and additional Council activities with major buyers and end-users in the country have the potential to increase U.S. market share in this changing and growing market.

Click here to view more photos from this team’s travels.