A U.S. Grains Council (USGC) trade team representing the Japanese corn processing, feed and corn trade industries as well as a hog and poultry industry journalist will travel to Iowa October 27-29 following the Export Exchange conference in Detroit. This event brings together international buyers with U.S. sellers of corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten meal and corn gluten feed and includes accompanying field tours to surrounding states like Iowa.
“The goal of hosting this team will be to maintain and further the relationships the U.S. Grains Council has cultivated between U.S. suppliers and Japanese importers, grain processors and end-users,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) Director Carl Jardon, a farmer from Randolph. “This mission trip will give them the opportunity to see the corn production chain first-hand, ask questions directly at farms, elevators and ethanol plants, increasing their understanding of the quality advantages of U.S. corn and DDGs.”
Their journey through Iowa will begin on Thursday in Des Moines with a tour of DuPont Pioneer’s Research and Development headquarters and laboratories. Then they will travel on Friday to Jewell to visit the Poet ethanol plant as well as the Ag Partners coop in Ellsworth. Their day will then end with a tour of ICGA Director Denny Friest’s farm in Radcliffe. On Saturday, they will visit the Green Plains ethanol production facility in Shenandoah on the way to their final stop at ICGA Director Carl Jardon’s farm in Randolph.
“U.S. corn exports are doing well right now, largely due to Brazil and Argentina’s drought,” said Jardon. “More countries like Japan are shifting to U.S. corn which is good for Iowa’s farmers. We will hopefully give them the right tools they need to purchase the high-quality U.S. corn they demand and continue to increase their confidence in the United States’ ability to provide them with a consistent product. It will be especially crucial for them to learn about the long-term purchasing strategies and utilization of U.S. distillers grains in their feed rations.”
With a population of 127 million and a thriving agricultural sector, Japan leads the way in imports of U.S. corn as well as co-products such as distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGs). Currently, the country ranks as the second largest market for U.S. corn. So far in the 2015/16 marketing year, Japan has imported more than 409 million bushels of U.S. corn, valued at more than $1.8 billion dollars. In the 2014/15 marketing year, Japan bought more than 472 million bushels U.S. corn, valuing $2.2 billion dollars. Japan is currently the tenth largest buyer of U.S. DDGS for this year, having purchased more than 295 million metric tons of the corn co-product, valued at $57.8 million dollars.
The Export Exchange conference is slated to be the largest on record with more than 215 buyers and end-users from more than 35 countries, organized into 19 USGC trade teams. Export Exchange allows attendees to do business and form relationships with buyers in person and in one location. More information about Export Exchange 2016, including registration details, is available at www.exportexchange.org or on social media using the hashtag #ExEx16.
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), works to develop and defend markets, fund research, and provide education about corn and corn products. The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is an 8,000-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including ethanol and distiller’s dried grains with solubes (DDGS). The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture's profitability. Founded in 1960, the Council is a private, non-profit corporation with 10 international offices and programs in more than 50 countries. Its unique membership includes producer organizations and agribusinesses with a common interest in developing export markets. See more at www.grains.org.