The U.S. Grains Council's (USGC's) Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regional office hosted its annual corn quality seminar last week in Malta. During the event, Council members took part in a grain marketing panel. Panelists from left to right included: Matt Ammermann of StoneX; John Hagios of The Andersons; Patty Mann of the Ohio Corn Marketing Program; and Jay O'Neil of HJ O'Neil Commodity Consulting. Image courtesy of U.S. Grains Council

Last week in Malta, the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regional office held the 13th edition of the annual corn quality seminar. Seventy-five attendees from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Kenya and Nigeria took part in the event.

“Every year, the Council organizes quality rollouts to disseminate information at two critical points in the corn marketing year — at harvest and at time of export. The information shared was very useful for all stakeholders to not only glean information about current crop conditions and quality, which then translates to purchasing decisions, but also in allowing USGC to showcase the value, transparency and integrity of the U.S. corn export market from the farm through the marketing system,” said Ramy H. Taieb, USGC EMEA regional director.

Along with the results of the Council’s Corn Harvest Quality Report, the seminar also covered several trade and technical topics, including global and U.S. feed grains supply and demand, global freight trends and challenging logistics faced through the Suez Canal, corn co-products cost availability and nutritional value in feed formulations, and a presentation on the starch and storage USGC programs in the region. Member involvement was key to the success of the event, with members including Missouri Corn’s Ryan Meyerkorth, Iowa Corn’s Mark Mueller, Ohio Corn’s Patty Mann and The Andersons’ John Hagios playing a role in different capacities at the event.

The Council’s Corn Sustainability Assurance Protocol (CSAP) and Sustainable Corn Exports (SCE) platform were also highlighted during the seminar as a way for U.S. corn producers to provide insight about their sustainable farming practices and to continue strengthening global U.S. corn and corn co-products sales by highlighting their alignment within increasingly climate-focused markets.

“Based on the surveys and comments from participants, attendees appreciated having the opportunity to hear about the quality of U.S. corn and corn co-products. The DDGS nutrition symposium was a good way to create more confidence in the use of this ingredient that has become 'vital and a great contribution to formulations' for some of the customers in attendance,” said Ana Ballesteros, USGC deputy regional director for Europe and the Middle East.

“Additionally, hearing the studies about the higher starch extractability of U.S. corn against other origins created additional interest from feed producers that are eager to understand how this can translate into higher performance of their feed.”

In addition to the seminar, the event included one-on-one meetings with key importer companies to further promote the quality and value of U.S. corn and corn co-products. These meetings resulted in negotiations of more than 110,000 metric tons (4,330,480 bushels) of corn and corn co-products that will enter the region.

The Council plans to keep its counterparts in the region informed of the ever-changing status of the U.S. corn market and this year’s crop quality, to instill confidence in buyers making U.S.-origin purchasing decisions.