Global grain buyers embark For Export Exchange 2018

By U.S. Grains Council | October 19, 2018

The first half of 21 U.S. Grains Council trade teams are already on the ground exploring U.S. farm country as global grain buyers and U.S. sellers are set to arrive in Minneapolis next week for Export Exchange 2018.

That every-other-year event, sponsored by the Council, the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy, is set to begin Monday and will give the more than 200 international buyers visiting with teams chances to meet with service providers from throughout the value chain for U.S. coarse grains and co-products.

Export Exchange constructs a bridge between the countries interested in purchasing U.S. feed grains and co-products and the suppliers who can provide these important feed ingredients. Speakers will discuss supply and demand outlooks, food safety regulations and supply chain options, among other topics. Equally important, buyers and sellers can meet together during the conference to forge new relationships expected to yield sales for years to come.

Preceding and following the conference, the 21 teams of global grain buyers are participating in pre- and post-event tours organized by the Council. This year’s line-up includes three teams from the top U.S. customer for feed grains in all forms –Mexico. Each team will meet with personnel from buying groups, trading companies and feed mills. These teams, similarly to the others organized for 2018, will see firsthand U.S. corn, sorghum and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) production and supply as well as assess current crop conditions during their stops.

“At a time when we have just agreed to a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, 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 CEO. “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.”

Teams represent not only the largest and most loyal U.S. customers, but also emerging markets interested in learning more about the United States as a grain supplier. Approximately 65 participants from across Southeast Asia will participate in five trade teams, including a high-level team from Vietnam that will tour the 2018 corn harvest, an ethanol plant and a transloading facility in Illinois.

“Vietnamese buyers have continued to increase their purchases of corn and DDGS since the government lifted its suspension of DDGS imports and eased its fumigation requirements for U.S. corn imports in 2017,” said Manuel Sanchez, USGC regional director for Southeast Asia. “It is a great opportunity for these feed grain importers and end-users to engage with U.S. sellers directly.”

These teams represent just two of the more than 30 countries who will participate in the pre- and post-event tours set to take place across the country. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #ExEx18 with the Council and state organization partners as these teams examine the entirety of the U.S. grain supply chain from the farm to the elevator to the ethanol plant and throughout the rest of the grain transportation system.

Learn more about the Export Exchange conference at