GLOBAL UPDATE

BY US GRAINS COUNCIL (USGC) 

DDGS Buyers Seminar Big Success. Response to workshops on the import and use of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles in China exceeded expectations as approximately 250 people attended the seminars, requiring the third session to be moved to a larger room to accommodate the crowd. David Strawn of Wyffels Hybrids, Inc. and USGC Value-Added Advisory Team leader discussed U.S. DDGS supply and demand, as well as the logistics of shipping the grain product. USGC consultant Dr. Jerry Shurson, University of Minnesota, presented inclusion rates of DDGS in poultry, swine, dairy and aquaculture rations. Strawn, Shurson and USGC staff in China also conducted on-site consultations at several feed mills and livestock operations to help them enhance their ability to use DDGS. The workshops coincided with the first purchase of U.S. DDGS by private Chinese importers. “The Guangdong feed industry is particularly interested in U.S. origin DDGS now that a shipment has finally arrived,” noted Dr. Todd Meyer, USGC senior director in China. “The message we heard during meetings with feed ingredient traders in Guangdong is a positive one for U.S. DDGS export potential.” He sees more opportunities for U.S. DDGS due to high prices, uncertain supplies and variable quality of many competing feed ingredients. “The challenge is to convince end users to evaluate the feed value of U.S. DDGS based on its nutrient content,” he noted. “This first sale along with Council efforts to disseminate marketing and technical information in seminars such as these will generate further interest.” More than 220 people representing feed mills, end users and importers attended the workshops held May 25, 28 and 31 in Fujian, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. The Council estimates Chinese buyers could import 20,000 tons of DDGS annually by 2010.

Egyptian Dairy Cows Sample U.S. CGF. Egypt’s first purchase of U.S. corn gluten feed is expected to arrive later this month. The Council has been working for several months with Egyptian dairy producers, providing information on the use of corn gluten feed (CGF). As a result of these efforts, Egypt made its first purchase of CGF with 14,000 metric tons expected to arrive by mid-June. After the product arrives, the Council plans to expand promotional efforts to include field days at farms where the product will be consumed. The Council estimates these expanded promotional efforts will result in 40,000 tons of U.S. CGF exported to Egypt by September 30. 

Swine Producers Seek to Modernize. Swine farm managers from five Chinese provinces are in the United States exploring options to help update their operations. Accompanied by Jason Yan, USGC technical program director in China, the group met with the Nebraska Corn Board and attended a swine seminar at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln earlier this week. The seminar covered a range of topics from feeder designs to production management. Yan reported the group was impressed by the technology update they received at the university and shocked by some of what they learned. “They were surprised to find out 30 percent of Nebraska’s corn is used to produce ethanol,” said Yan. “The group was interested in studying the use U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles in China and when they learned how much corn is going into ethanol, they became more interested.” The group has also been visiting swine operations, feed mills and processing plants to see some of the modern practices introduced by Council consultants in China. The team will conclude their visit in Missouri and Iowa next week where they will meet with Council members Land O’Lakes Inc., Elanco Animal Health and Pattison Bros. Mississippi River Terminal, Inc. In addition, they will attend the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. The Council estimates the Chinese swine sector could consume an additional 80,000 metric tons of feed grains a year as modern production methods are adopted.

Cuba to Sign Corn Contracts. Cuban trade officials expect to sign contracts for a variety of U.S. food and agricultural products worth approximately $150 million by the end of the Alimport Conference today, June 1. Purchase contracts include 150,000 metric tons (5.9 million bushels) of U.S. corn and 30,000 tons of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal. While attending the conference, USGC Chairman Vic Miller met privately with Pedro Alvarez Borrego, chairman and CEO of Alimport, Cuba’s official trade entity. “The Cubans are really starved for information about the U.S. corn crop, prices and how Cuba will be affected,” noted Miller. “The role of the U.S. Grains Council will be to supply them with information to help them remain current.” Despite the U.S. government requiring payment before U.S. exports may be shipped to Cuba, the United States continues to be their preferred corn supplier. Miller and Erick Erickson, USGC special assistant for planning, evaluation and projects, were among 265 representatives from 114 U.S. companies and associations as well as five U.S. Congressmen attending the conference Monday through Wednesday, May 28-30. Cuba imported 357,079 tons (14 million bushels) of U.S. corn in 2006, according to USDA estimates.

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