The Export Exchange conference hosted this fall by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is already paying dividends, according to new surveys of overseas grain buyers who attended – to the tune of nearly a half billion dollars' worth of grain and ethanol co-product sales.
Buyers and end-users were asked after the conference if they made purchase agreements with sellers and how much volume was purchased. In total, attendees reported sales of approximately 2.6 million metric tons of grains and co-products worth $460 million traded either at the conference or immediately before or after.
The top grain traded during the two-day conference was corn, with 924,500 metric tons collectively exchanged, followed by distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS), with 875,000 metric tons exchanged. This means buyers at the conference struck deals to purchase an amount of DDGS equivalent to roughly 8 percent of last year's total U.S. DDGS exports.
Export Exchange 2016 offered attendees a unique opportunity to meet and build relationships with domestic suppliers of corn, DDGS, sorghum, barley and other commodities. More than 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products from more than 35 countries were in Detroit for the conference, held Oct. 24 to 26, and for related tours of U.S. farms, ethanol plans and export infrastructure as part of Council trade teams.
"Trade is absolutely critical to U.S. farmers right now, and these sales show that buyers attending Export Exchange 2016 took the buying opportunities very seriously," said Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the Council. "Putting buyers and sellers together, building and sustaining relationships with our top global grain buyers have been hallmarks of Council activities worldwide. We are thrilled to see how much actual trade was done at the show and in association with it."
"This conference and these tremendous sales figures show how much of an appetite there is globally for U.S.-produced feed grains and co-products. It's no surprise that the top two commodities traded during the conference were corn and DDGS, a co-product of U.S. ethanol production. With a record corn supply anticipated for the 2016/2017 marketing year, exports will continue to be essential as we move forward in a global market," said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen.
Other grains traded at Export Exchange included:
• Corn Gluten—25,200 metric tons;
• Sorghum—428,000 metric tons; and
• Barley—5,000 metric tons.
The Export Exchange conference provides an ideal forum for continued relationship building among trading partners. The conference is held every two years and will next be held in 2018. More information about the recent event is online at www.exportexchange.org.