(Posted Fri. May 11th, 2012)
May 11: The U.S. Grains Council reports this week strong and growing overseas interest in importing some key corn products from the United States, great news for stateside corn farmers, especially looking at the crop now being planted that is expected to break many records.
For example, Japan's 2011 imports of dried distillers grains with solubles – a key ethanol coproduct – surged 31 percent ahead of 2010 levels. U.S. market share, already dominant, climbed from 89 to 93.7 percent. Further, Japan's DDGS imports thus far in 2012 are on track to exceed last year's record, with U.S. market share edging up yet again, to 96 percent through the first quarter.
“This is great news from Japan,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer said. “One of the untold stories about ethanol is the important and growing role played by ethanol coproducts, such as distillers grains, a high-protein livestock feed. It’s important to remember that, taking into account these distiller grains, ethanol only consumers about 28 percent of our corn supply.”
The Grains Council reports that Japan has long been the top international customer for U.S. corn, and the continued growth in interest in DDGS is encouraging.
Likewise, according to the Grains Council, corn oil is a preferred product across much of the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisia – a major producer and exporter of olive oil – has emerged as the top regional market for U.S. corn oil in 2011. That is a big jump for Tunisia, which has traditionally been the No. 3 market for U.S. corn oil exports; Tunisia more than doubled its imports over 2010.