WASHINGTON — White corn grain buyers from Mexico are in the United States to see U.S. grain production and the U.S. export system for themselves – from harvest to shipping – in Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky and Minnesota.
The team came stateside to tour farms, elevators and other pieces of export infrastructure in both Nebraska and Kentucky and meet with the people who produce and sell their grains.
After their state visits, the team will attend Export Exchange, a conference for grain buyers held every other year sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The conference will let these Mexican buyers meet with U.S. sellers of corn, sorghum, barley, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten meal and corn gluten feed.
The Nebraska Corn Board and Kentucky Corn Growers each provided funding to bring the Mexican team to Export Exchange and to the post-tour held in each of the states.
“Trade is vitally important to the American farmer,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “We appreciate all of our customers and want to ensure them we’re a reliable supplier of quality ag products. By inviting Mexican grain buyers to the U.S., we can answer any questions they may have and demonstrate the amount of care that goes into U.S. grain production.”
The Mexican team includes senior procurement staff members from a major Mexican corn flour and tortilla manufacturing company. It will be in the states to learn about the U.S. white corn production chain and to better understand quality standards for U.S. white corn exports.
In addition, the team members hope to establish new relationships with U.S. white corn and specialty organic corn suppliers. Their visit will include a trip to the Federal Grains Inspection Service’s (FGIS’s) National Grain Center in Kansas City, meetings with farmers in Nebraska and Kentucky and stops at elevators and river and rail terminals.
“At a time when we have just agreed to a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, highlighting the importance of international trade can be no better illustrated than by Export Exchange and the trade team visits before and after the event,” said Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council.
“It is essential for us to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and partner countries, and the connections made at this critical event will not only help propel our industry this year, but for years to come.”
A total of 21 pre- and post-Export Exchange trade teams sponsored by the Grains Council and grain checkoffs will visit this month, offering the 200 participating grain buyers a chance to see the U.S. supply and quality for themselves.
Over the course of their activities in USGC member states, these individuals have opportunities to directly do business and make connections to facilitate future sales.
In addition to networking opportunities, foreign attendees traveling to the Export Exchange conference in Minneapolis will be briefed on the global supply and demand situation, transportation issues and challenges, the global grains outlook, new advances in DDGS and poultry, food safety regulations, and agribusiness, the current U.S. policy environment, and more.
Export Exchange also highlights the importance of strong trade policy and market development to U.S. agriculture. The Council, in partnership with Nebraska Corn and Kentucky Corn works in more than 50 countries and the European Union to market U.S. grains and their related products and build long-term demand from loyal customers.
This work is also supported by funding from USDA through the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program in the U.S. farm bill.
More information on Export Exchange 2018 is available at www.exportexchange.org. More from the Grains Council is at www.grains.org. More from the Nebraska Corn Board can be found at www.nebraskacorn.gov.
— Nebraska Corn Board
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