The livestock feed that is a co-product of ethanol production is gaining a foothold in the country that is synonymous with oil, thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).
Saudi Arabia has always been the oil capitol of the world, but when Venezuela took the number one spot last year, the Saudis began to focus on diversifying into new revenue streams, like agriculture, and started to satisfy feed demand for dairy and livestock with the ethanol co-product distiller’s dried grains (DDGS).The USGC launched the effort to expand market access for DDGS into Saudi Arabia through such activities as taking officials on tours of ethanol plants in the United States so they could see how the product was made. It was difficult at first to overcome the Saudis’ mistrust of ethanol as competition for petroleum, not to mention the fact that it is alcohol, which is prohibited in that country. But the Council ultimately succeeded in getting DDGS on the Saudi’s “feed ingredient subsidy list” which allows financial support for importers to aid them in bringing foreign feed ingredients to the market in order to reduce water consumption.
To gain placement on the list, the Council addressed various obstacles through an aggressive marketing campaign focused on stimulating demand and improving market access and is now introducing programming to educate traders and nutritionists about the tremendous benefits of DDGS. With 16,000 tons of U.S. DDGS already entering the Saudi market, the Council anticipates the demand to grow along as increased emphasis is placed on expanding the agricultural sector.