Tag Archives: US Grains Council

More than one million metric tons of corn and dried distiller’s grains with solubles (DDGS) were contracted last week during the Ag Supply Chain Asia 2019 (ASCA19) conference in the Philippines, part of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) strategy to defend established markets while identifying new opportunities throughout the Southeast Asia region.

The Council co-hosted the joint buyers conference with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA’s FAS). More than 250 of the most important grain and oilseed importers from Southeast Asia gathered in Manila to discuss current market dynamics, the Chinese market, the African Swine Fever situation as well as the grain supply and demand, U.S.-Southeast Asia trade policy and big data in agriculture.

“The establishment of face-to-face relationships is critical, and buyers conferences like this one provide U.S. suppliers an optimal space to reach growing Southeast Asia demand,” said Caleb Wurth, USGC assistant director for Southeast Asia. “The concentration of quality, active buyers at the conference was second-to-none in the region.”

Buyers conferences like ASCA19 are a cornerstone of USGC programming in Southeast Asia. In addition to facilitating discussions between traders and customers, the conference offered trade servicing and value added opportunities to partners in the region. The up-to-date information provided at the conference is just one key selling point for U.S.-origin commodities.

A specific highlight of the conference, two U.S. farmers presented on U.S. corn production in aggregate and their respective operations: Tom Mueller, corn sector director on the USGC Board of Directors and member of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, and Larry Klever, member of the USGC Asia Advisory Team and past president of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.

Mueller and Klever also also joined USGC staff on a trade mission prior to the conference, visiting Davao in Southern Philippines. These grower-leaders engaged with 86 new potential swine and poultry customers during a day-long seminar. The pair provided their perspectives on grain trade as farmers, highlighting the care and attention producers put into each and every crop and giving valuable insights into the factors that dictate their planting decisions. U.S. exporters and USGC regional consultants also provided information on technical feeding and trading dynamics for U.S. corn, DDGS and sorghum.

The Council is putting additional focus on the Philippines in 2019 as a growing feed market in Southeast Asia. The Philippines is a potential market for U.S. sorghum and DDGS due to high local feed prices and a prohibitive tariff rate quota (TRQ) on imported corn. The Philippines has imported nearly 108,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS thus far in the 2018/2019 marketing year (September 2018-January 2019), continuing an upward trajectory of sales in recent years.

“The Council plans to bring together strategic import partners and U.S. exporters to demonstrate the value U.S. coarse grains can bring to Philippine end-users and assist in establishing a long-term, sustainable market,” Wurth said. “This overall strategy was in full display as the Council, partner importers, member-traders and grower leaders all played a part to draw such a large eager audience in this developing market – all in efforts to provide growing, diversified demand for U.S. coarse grains, co-products and ethanol.”

The quality of corn assembled for export early in the 2018-2019 marketing year was rated at U.S. grade No. 2 or better on all grade factors, based on the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, released this week.

“Corn quality information is important to foreign buyers and other industry stakeholders as they make decisions about purchase contracts and processing needs for corn for feed, food or industrial use,” said USGC Chairman Jim Stitzlein. “This report – along with its companion, the Corn Harvest Quality Report – has consistently created value for all stakeholders due to the familiarity of the information and the ability to evaluate year-to-year changes in the U.S. corn crop.”

Average test weight found by the analysis was the same as 2017/2018, indicating overall good quality. Chemical composition indicated similar protein, lower starch and slightly higher oil concentrations than the previous year. The exports had lower average stress cracks, higher average 100-kernal weight, slightly higher average kernel true density and higher average percent of whole kernels and horneous endosperm than in 2017/2018. All export samples tested below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action level for aflatoxins and below advisory levels for deoxynivalenol (DON) or vomitoxin.

The report is based on 436 export cargo samples collected from corn shipments undergoing federal inspection and grading processes at export terminals. It also provides information on grading, handling and how U.S. corn is moved and controlled through export channels.

The report is a companion to the 2018/2019 Corn Harvest Quality Report that provides information about the quality of the most recent U.S. corn crop at harvest as it enters the international merchandising channels.

The reports provide reliable information on U.S. corn quality from the farm to the customer based on transparent and consistent methodology. They each give an early view of grading factors established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), moisture content and other characteristics not reported elsewhere. Both reports identify any noticeable changes occurring between these two time periods.

The Council will roll out the new results in a series of crop quality seminars around the world beginning with one in Mexico the first week of April and more in Panama, El Salvador and Colombia in May. These outreach activities help establish clear expectations with buyers and end-users regarding the quality of corn this marketing year.

“The Council’s mission is one of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives,” said Stitzlein. “To help fulfill this mission, the Council offers this report as a service to our partners. We hope it continues in its role of providing information about the quality of the U.S. corn crop to our valued trade partners.”


Read the full report here:  https://grains.org/why-trade-matters/