After three days in Minneapolis attending Export Exchange to better understand the global grain market for corn, its co-products and sorghum, nine teams of international grain buyers are visiting the Midwest to talk to farmers and see firsthand the U.S. grain value chain.
Members of the teams hail from the Middle East, Mexico, Latin America, Southeast Asia and China and will make stops in Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Texas - showing the diversity of attendees of the Export Exchange events as well as U.S. Grains Council (USGC) members who support the organization's efforts to reach out to global grain buyers.
"The United States can boast some inherent trade advantages including value chain transparency and reliability, nine years of corn quality data, diversity of products and customer service at every point along the way,” says USCG Chairman Jim Stitzlein. “We are happy to share these qualities firsthand through trade team visits in various corn-producing states after Export Exchange as a means of strengthening the bond between U.S. suppliers and our partner countries.”
Most trade teams will be visiting farming operations, farmer cooperatives, ethanol plants and transloading facilities to give them a clearer perspective on how U.S. farmers get their grains to end-users in their respective countries. Teams will also learn more about the U.S. marketing system for feed grains and co-products and have specialized crop tours of the 2018 harvest.
Two such teams of feed grain industry importers – from South America and China – are heading to the southern United States to meet with suppliers and exporters. USGC is working with the teams in cooperation with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP).
“We are excited to host the trade teams and grow our network at Export Exchange 2018 as sorghum exports have represented a large portion of the U.S. sorghum marketplace over the last few years,” says Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. “The Sorghum Checkoff is dedicated to building strong relationships between buyers and sellers, resulting in continued sorghum sales.”
The members of the South American delegation will visit export facilities in New Orleans and an ethanol plant and corn and sorghum farms Texas. The Chinese delegation will visit corn and sorghum farms in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas as well as an ethanol plant, local elevators and transloading facilities.
Other teams from Israel, the European Union, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco will also be canvassing U.S. farm country. While visiting these respective states, the individuals participating in these activities will be able to directly do business and make connections to facilitate future sales.