The U.S. Grains Council recently sponsored a team of feed industry leaders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tunisia, Taiwan and Vietnam to participate in a Northern Crops Institute course focused on distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) procurement. Image courtesy of The U.S. Grains Council

To continue building upon relationships and providing further education, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) says it recently sponsored a team of current and future feed industry leaders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey, Tunisia, Taiwan and Vietnam to participate in a course at the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) in Fargo, ND.

The course, focused on distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) procurement, was an opportunity for procurement managers and company directors to improve their buying and grain pricing skills. The group participated in trading exercises that offered real life examples of buying, contracting and other aspects of the grain procurement process.

“This program brought a mixture of buyers and importers from several companies, which created new company relationships that didn’t exist before. The group will continue cooperating in the future and even purchasing a combination of U.S. corn, DDGS and other feed grains,” said Ramy H. Taieb, USGC regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The team also visited grain export and barge loading facilities, an ethanol plant and corn-growing operations in North Dakota and Minnesota.

“These experiences provided an opportunity for the senior and junior-level corporate importers from the Middle East and North Africa area to assess the capabilities of the U.S. corn export system, build partnerships with U.S. exporters and acquire confidence in U.S.-origin corn and its co-products,” Taieb said.

The EMEA region and Taiwan hold a variety of opportunities for U.S. corn and its co-products, however, there is reportedly much competition from South American exporters. The Council says it plans to continue strengthening its relationships in the region and provide market intelligence and a consistent flow of information to increase the awareness of major feed grain around the world.

“In addition to the NCI course, the Taiwan participants greatly enjoyed the on-site visits. It was a good learning experience to help improve their knowledge on and experiences with U.S. grains and DDGS in production, storage, transportation and animal nutritional applications,” said Michael Lu, USGC director in Taiwan.