US Grains Council Promoting Quality of 2015 US Grain Sorghum Crop in Latin AmericaFri, 18 Dec 2015 05:54:40 CST
The timing was right this week for the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) to send a team of U.S. sorghum producers to Colombia and Peru to promote their crop and roll out the 2015/2016 Sorghum Early Harvest Quality Report. ( click here to see the Sorghum Early Harvest Quality Report )
In October, Colombian buyers imported 23,000 metric tons (905,464 bushels) of the commodity, almost filling their tariff rate quota (TRQ). After a near standstill of U.S. sorghum imports in recent years, this figure was a refreshing change.
"Price and availability remain the main drivers for the possibility of importing U.S. sorghum into Latin America," said USGC Regional Director of the Western Hemisphere Marri Carrow. "However, Peru and Colombia have the wherewithal and ability to import sorghum from the United States at any moment. To remind importers of the benefits of the product and to answer any questions regarding the procurement or use of the product, the Council bought this team of U.S. sorghum producers, a merchandiser and a nutritionist to the region."
Mission participants, in addition to Carrow, included Barry Evans of Texas Sorghum Grain Producers; Kathy Brorman of Texas Sorghum Grain Producers; Miguel Davalos of Attebury Grain, LLC; Carlos Lopez Coello of National Autonomous University of Mexico; and USGC Manager of Global Programs Heidi Bringenberg.
They met with key coarse grains importers and end-users in Colombia and Peru to foster business relations and demonstrate the advantages of U.S. sorghum.
"Our meetings were very fruitful as the buyers and end-users appreciated being presented with such timely, reliable and transparent information," Carrow said. "They asked numerous questions about U.S. planting intentions for next year, the market outlook and purchasing power.
"After addressing these questions, the buyers and end-users left the meetings with a greater confidence in the United States' ability to meet their demand for high-quality sorghum."
This mission is one part of the Council's work to overcome misperceptions in the region including that all sorghum has high levels of tannins; limited knowledge among buyers of the marketing channels for U.S. sorghum; and little local experience in formulating feed rations with sorghum.
Other pieces of the Council's program to overcome these hurdles include bringing a trade team of Colombian end-users to the United States to learn more about purchasing U.S. sorghum and incorporating it into animal rations; inviting buyers from Colombia to the Council's regional course grains and co-products conference; and holding animal nutrition seminars.
This week's presentation of the sorghum harvest quality report is one of many happening this month around the globe. A companion report, the 2015/2016 Sorghum Harvest and Export Cargo Quality Report, will be available in January to help educate customers about the quality of U.S. sorghum during the final stages of harvest and as it is loaded for export.
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