Ryan LeGrand, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, took a look back at 2022 and said it was a great year for exports.
“Sixty-two million tons of corn exported, distillers grains were very near a record high, you had Mexico taking a record amount of DDGs, well over two million tons, a pretty good year all in all. We had a very successful Export Exchange, and that’s really the flagship event of the U.S. Grains Council. We’ll bring in upwards of 300 international buyers from around 40 to 50 countries to just do business with the agribusiness members of the United States. There were $225 million of grain and co-product sales, so that was very, very successful event.”
Another highlight from last year was opening their newest international office in India last September. He says the African continent is another target for more export opportunities for U.S. grain producers.
“We work all over Africa. We work in North Africa and in Sub Saharan Africa on both the east and the west side, and they’re very, very different markets, all three of them. Last year. I was in Kenya and Tanzania seeing our programs where we’re doing work that the council really got started doing in 1960, and that’s trying to build our own demand from the ground up. We’re doing animal extension work, we’re teaching people better feed milling practices, and hoping that we can create a market for ourselves in the future.”
He says there are other promising markets for U.S.-produced ethanol, corn, sorghum, and other products.
“Southeast Asia is really one that we’re always watching and working hard in. We have some issues with corn competitiveness in there, but distillers grains has always really been a big ticket item going into Southeast Asia. Ethanol is starting to expand a little bit in there. If you break it down by product, on the ethanol side, I’d say Canada is a very, very promising market. They’ve quickly turned into our top export market for ethanol. On the corn side, we’ve had some problems with competitiveness this year. We’re coming back into a pricing where we price into more rations and more markets around the world, but I’d say Mexico is just going to continue to be a steady customer.”
He says China and Mexico also take in a lot of U.S. sorghum. Mexico also imports a lot of barley. There are a number of other markets that USGC is moving into with success.
“We’re looking to expand ethanol use in Japan. There was just zero ethanol going into that, zero U.S. ethanol going into that, just a few short years ago, and we keep expanding our reach there and expanding exports there of ethanol to Japan in the form of BTBE, so that’s one we’ll be watching. We want to continue to develop these transshipped markets for ethanol that are happening in Singapore with ethanol going to various Southeast Asian Nations after it gets shipped there. Korea’s doing a lot of transshipping as well to Philippines and other nearby countries. So, continuing to develop that transship market and just overall demand for ethanol will be a very key priority for us this year.”
Go to grains.org for more information.