Hundreds of buyers and sellers of U.S. coarse grains and ethanol co-products have arrived in Detroit for Export Exchange 2016 and even though they are from more than 30 countries they are busy making connections and building relationships.
The event, which has been held every two years since 2010, is co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and this year it is more important than ever for domestic suppliers of corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), sorghum and barley.
“Obviously with four successive years of record harvests, I hear every day we’ve got to find markets for these grains,” said USGC president and CEO Tom Sleight. “It’s very important this year to really focus on short term market development, we’ve got to get some movement into the grain market. Exports in general are doing well and we hope this will give a little bit of a boost.”
Sleight says there is still lots of room for growth in many western hemisphere nations, including Mexico and Canada, while eastern countries such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan are increasing purchases of DDGS. “Japan we had our first month of 100 percent market share since 2009,” said Sleight.
Despite China recently imposing duties on U.S. imports of DDGS, Sleight says they have two teams from China in attendance at the Export Exchange this year. “It’s part of our normal business is to keep talking because opportunities change,” he said. “We have some trade difficulties right now, we think we can work through them but in the meantime we still keep talking to our customers.”
Sleight says he is excited about the agenda for the Export Exchange, but what it’s really all about it the networking opportunities where relationships are built and sales are made.
Learn more in this interview and watch for our coverage of the event this week: Interview with Tom Sleight, U.S. Grains Council