Two teams of feed grain industry importers – from South America and China – are in Minneapolis for Export Exchange before heading to the southern United States to meet with suppliers and exporters of U.S. corn, its co-products and sorghum. 

Export Exchange is a biennial educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains that will host approximately 200 international buyers and end-users organized into 21 USGC trade teams. Both teams will meet with U.S. suppliers and get a chance to learn about current supply and demand for U.S. feed products.

The Council is working with the teams in cooperation with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP). 

"We are excited to host the upcoming trade teams and grow our network at Export Exchange 2018 as sorghum exports have represented a large portion of the U.S. sorghum marketplace over the last few years," said Florentino Lopez, Sorghum Checkoff executive director. "The Sorghum Checkoff is dedicated to building strong relationships between buyers and sellers, resulting in continued sorghum sales."

Export Exchange is sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy, allowing these buyers to meet with U.S. sellers of corn, sorghum, barley, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten meal and corn gluten feed.

“At a time when the U.S is looking to create new trade agreements, 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, USGC president and chief executive officer. 

“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.”

In addition to networking opportunities, these attendees traveling to Export Exchange 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 USCP, 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. 

After Export Exchange, the South American team will visit Louisiana and Texas and the Chinese team will visit Missouri and Arkansas to learn more about the U.S. marketing system for feed grains and co-products and for specialized crop tours of the 2018 corn harvest. 

Over the course of their trade team activities, the members of the South American delegation will visit export facilities in New Orleans and an ethanol plant and corn and sorghum farms Texas. The Chinese delegation will visit corn and sorghum farms in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas as well as an ethanol plant, local elevators and transloading facilities. While visiting Export Exchange and these respective states, individuals on the teams have opportunities to directly do business and make connections to facilitate future sales.

This work is a critical piece of market development programs operated by the Council in more than 50 global markets, with funding from organizations like USCP, the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program in the U.S. farm bill. 

"Our growers need the farm bill to cross the finish line as momentum is vital in farming and markets," said Wayne Cleveland, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers executive director. "Farmers need to know the farm program rules for financing and planning intentions going forward, and continual funding of MAP and FMD are key to increasing market opportunities."

More information on Export Exchange 2018 is available at www.exportexchange.org. More from the U.S. Grains Council is at www.grains.org.

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About the U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture's profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.

About the United Sorghum Checkoff Program
The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is a producer-funded organization that is dedicated to improving the sorghum industry through research, promotion and education. For more information about the USCP and other research projects please visit www.sorghumcheckoff.com.