The U.S. corn industry will export 2.25 billion bushels (57.15 million metric tons) in 2006/07, according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) issued by the USDA on Tuesday, September 12. This is an 100 million bushel (2.54 million ton) increase of compared to the August estimate. WASDE also predicts U.S. farmers will produce more than 11 billion bushels (279.4 million tons) of corn in 2006/07, 138 million bushels (3.5 million tons) more than the last month’s estimate due to higher yields. This would be the second largest U.S. crop – exceeding last year’s production by 2 million bushels (50,800 tons). “WASDE’s numbers are good news for international buyers of U.S. corn,” noted Erick Erickson, USGC special assistant for planning, evaluation and projects. “During the Council’s recent Corn Mission to Japan and China, participants noted several current and potential importers expressed concern about the increasing demand for ethanol in the United States and how that would affect the amount of corn available for export. The team reassured them the U.S. corn industry is committed to remaining a reliable supplier and the official production estimates from USDA help clarify the point.” WASDE also forecasts U.S. sorghum production will rise 9 million bushels (228,600 tons) to 305 million bushels (7.7 million tons) compared to last month’s estimate, while barley production estimates remained steady at 183 million bushels (4 million tons). Both sorghum and barley export expectations were unchanged at 165 million bushels (4.2 million tons) and 20 million bushels (435,400 tons) respectively.
U.S. corn is welcome in China – and preferred – when the market allows. That’s the message participants of the Council’s 2006 Corn Mission heard when visiting with Xiaorong Zhang, purchase manager with Guangzhou New Hope Co., Ltd., China’s largest domestically-owned feed mill and first private company to import U.S. corn. “The only concern I have about U.S. corn is the price – I’m not concerned about the quality of the corn, especially after being the United States this summer through the Council,” Zhang said. “Because U.S. corn is of good quality and has a high test weight, we are willing to pay more for the product.” In addition to visiting with Zhang, mission participants met with Liu Xiaohong, general secretary of the Guangdong Swine Industry Association and also toured a local market where people typically get fresh cuts of meat on a daily basis. Mission participants included Jayne Glosemeyer, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council; Stan Boehr, Nebraska Corn Board; Charles Ring, Texas Corn Producers Board; Tom Gillis, Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board; and Council staff members Mike Callahan and Cheri Johnson. To see a recap of the mission and view photos of the group while in China and Japan, visit www.grains.org.
The future of distillers’ grains was the focus of the International Distillers Grains Conference, held Wednesday-Thursday, September 13-14, in Minneapolis, Minn. Approximately 350 attendees explored topics from feeding recommendations of distillers’ dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to the latest production methods. Value Added Advisory Team member Randy Ives of United Bio Energy Ingredients, LLC, and Ryan LeGrand, USGC manager of international operations DDGS, provided an overview of the global market for DDGS, including potential new markets and international customers’ needs. “We were able to speak directly to domestic DDGS suppliers, ethanol plant owners and industry experts,” LeGrand said. Ives and LeGrand formed a panel with Russ Leuck, Pattison Bros. Mississippi River Terminal, Inc.; Ted Hattori, United Bio Energy Ingredients; Thomas Kopp, Guillermo Mancebo and Gustavo Schildknecht, The Scoular Company; and USGC consultant Dr. Jerry Shurson to discuss the future of DDGS exports and respond to attendees questions. ProExporter estimates U.S. DDGS production will exceed 10 million metric tons in the 2006/07 marketing year and reach 25 million tons by 2015/16.