IDGC: Improving DDGS exports

By Erin Voegele | November 03, 2008
More than 140 foreign buyers, nutritionists and feed ingredient importers were among the 500 attendees at the 2008 International Distillers Grains Conference and Trade Show in Indianapolis on Oct. 19-21. The event was designed to allow international buyers to network with U.S. distillers grains suppliers. Presentations were translated into seven languages, and interpreters were on hand during the International Meet and Greet Reception prior to the grand opening of the trade show.

Although Mexico is expected to continue being the largest importer of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), many other international markets are expected to increase imports of DDGS, as well. Presenters representing Canada, Central America, South America and Asia each described the specific needs and market conditions in their regions. In addition, most sighted the value of the U.S. dollar as one variable that will help to determine how much U.S. DDGS is imported into their respective regions. Educating foreign buyers on the benefits of DDGS, addressing safety concerns and working to ensure product consistency were all cited as ways to increase the use of U.S. DDGS in foreign markets.

"Distillers grains is the best value in the marketplace today," said Steve Markham, a merchandiser at CHS Inc. "It's the best value per unit of energy, and it's the best value per unit of protein." Product quality and consistency were cited by many as the primary concern of DDGS purchasers. According to Ken Hobbie, U.S. Grains Council president, it's imperative that U.S. DDGS suppliers inform customers of the nutritional details of their products. As production and consumption of distillers grains increase, it will become necessary to combine DDGS from a variety of ethanol plants to fill large orders. "The better the whole industry makes their products, the higher the price they can all receive in the bulk export market," Hobbie said.

More details regarding the IDGC will be printed in the first quarter 2009 issue of Distillers Grains Quarterly.