Thanks in large part to the U.S. government’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, approximately 775,000 metric tons of U.S. agricultural products, valued at more than $267 million, were sold and or negotiated at the 7th Southeast Asia Grain Transportation Conference.
Held in Bali, Indonesia, this past May, the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Soybean Export Council once again brought together more than 100 agriculture companies covering the entire feed to food supply chain, including poultry and livestock integrators, feed and flour millers, soy food and beverage producers, regional and international trading companies, shipping companies, ship chartering companies and port handlers.
“The main objective of the conference is to bring together prospective buyers and sellers and provide a neutral environment in which to encourage networking and business discussions,” said Adel Yusupov, USGC director in Southeast Asia. “U.S. sellers benefit significantly by being able to meet with major Southeast Asian importers in one location.”
Gaining the Competitive Edge in Agribusiness was the central theme this year as attendees heard in-depth market analyses and participated in panel sessions. USGC’s Manager of Global Trade Kevin Roepke gave a well-received presentation on trends in U.S. corn production and transportation sectors. Roepke reassured potential buyers of the U.S. commitment to remain a reliable and leading exporter of corn into the world market.
The conference was well received by the international audience and provided ample time for interaction between U.S. industry representatives and Southeast Asian grain importers. “The true value of this event is in the face time between U.S. industry and international importers,” Yusupov said. “It could not be done without the MAP and FMD programs.”
These programs have also been essential with work in the Philippines.
“High prices of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in the Philippines have ceased its use by most end-users and importers. However, since there is still strong interest for the product in the country, USDA’s Market Access Program is more vital now than ever to maintain interest and increase demand once the price returns to a competitive level,” Yusupov said. “Since 2007, the U.S. Grains Council has worked to motivate the local feed and livestock sectors to use DDGS as a healthy alternative to other local ingredients. As a result, the Philippines imported roughly 160,000 metric tons of U.S. DDGS in 2012, up 13% from the previous year. With the increasing demand in the feed sector, there is room for this amount to grow, but its price in comparison to local corn and imported soybean meal is a major challenge.”