The Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) partnered with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Kansas Corn Commission, the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission to bring to the United States a Saudi Arabian trade team of feed milling professionals who are visiting Illinois, Kansas and Louisiana to better understand the U.S. grain and ethanol marketing system and pave the way for continued growth in grain and co-product sales to the country.
The team of five, including decision makers from a leading feed company, are in the United States to see firsthand U.S. corn, corn co-products and sorghum production, meeting directly with U.S. suppliers and exporters.
“Saudi Arabia has been a steady and consistent market for U.S. grains, and educating these decision makers about our industry in the U.S. will help us continue this good working relationship,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “We hope these participants will understand the competitive advantage the U.S. can provide in terms of logistics and pricing.”
Saudi Arabia is the tenth largest purchaser of U.S. corn, buying nearly 1.5 million metric tons of corn in the 2017-2018 marketing year at a value of $250 million.
"In-person, boots on the ground style trade missions are invaluable to building future export opportunities," said Don Duvall, ICMB Chairman.
During their time in Illinois, participants visited an ethanol plant, meet with staff at a grain terminal and visit a wet milling plant before heading to Kansas to tour the National Grain Center in Kansas City, meet with officials at the Federal Grain Inspection Service, tour a corn and sorghum farm and hold discussions with three different U.S. feed companies. During the final leg of their mission, the team will travel to New Orleans where they will visit a shipping company, take an elevator tour and see a grain lab so they get a better understanding of how grain is loaded for transport and sent overseas to its final destination.
"ICMB values the chance to leverage Illinois corn checkoff dollars with our partners at the U.S. Grains Council, where public dollars amplify the outreach. These educational trade missions really make a difference," Duvall added.
For more information on the U.S. Grains Council’s work in the Saudi Arabia, please visit https://grains.org/news-events/newsroom/#country=133 .
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 aaldditional 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.