DDGS export options available in Russia, China

By Ryan C. Christiansen | November 03, 2008
U.S. activities related to the export of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are continuing to raise awareness and create access to markets, most recently in Russia and China.

The U.S. Grains Council is planning to conduct DDGS feed trials with the Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, poultry industry as early as next spring, provided the Russian government certifies the commodity for import. The USGC hopes that DDGS can be exported to Russia as early as January, according to Craig Coon, a researcher at the Center of
Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. Coon was in Russia the week of Sept. 14.

Russian poultry farmers primarily use sunflower meal and wheat for feed, but very little corn, Coon said. Two feeding trials are plannedfor layers in St. Petersburg and broilers in Moscow. The market in St. Petersburg alone would use 17,000 metric tons of DDGS annually, based on a 20 percent DDGS diet, Coon said.

With modern operations similar in size and scope to those in the United States, the Chinese swine industry is also interested in DDGS, according to Bob Thaler, a swine nutrition expert at South Dakota State University. He was recently in China to evaluate the USGC Swine Technical and Managerial Training program there.

Chinese producers plan to expand their industry from approximately 650 million pigs per year to at least 730 million, Thaler said, and producers told him that the country is unable grow all of the grain needed for the expansion. Therefore, China will have to import a substantial amount of feed. "U.S. feed grains look to be the No. 1 choice in an import situation," he said. As the industry grows, Chinese farmers will especially start looking at DDGS, he said.

To help bring DDGS overseas, North Star Container International, a full-service, non-vessel-operating common carrier and subsidiary of Minneapolis-based North Star Rail
Intermodal LLC, has opened an office in Chicago to provide marketing and overseas transportation services for grain products. North Star's rail operation offers ethanol producers an intermodal truck and train service, which allows them to utilize the international container shipping system by loading DDGS into containers at North Star rail terminals from either hopper trucks or railcars, or by loading directly into containers at the ethanol plant. The company has negotiated contracts with several major shipping lines serving the Asian, European and Latin American markets.