Representatives of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) recently visited China to provide technical information on sorghum use to key customers and document the success of sorghum exports there.
Since 2014, China has been the largest importer of U.S. sorghum. USGC and USCP began working intensely in China in 2011 when market conditions indicated an opportunity for increased exports. Promotion activities in 2012 led to initial exports in 2013 and larger exports in 2014 and 2015.
Mission participants included: Dale Murden, former chairman of USCP and current board member for Texas Sorghum; Jennifer Blackburn, USCP external affairs director; Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade based in Washington, D.C.; Bryan Lohmar, USGC director in China; and Junyang Jiang, USGC assistant director in China.
Stops included visits to port facilities, feed mills and duck farms, where participants gained insight into import and production processes and learned more about supply, demand and quality characteristics. The tours gave industry leaders from the United States the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge on how end users are using sorghum and provided an opportunity to discuss current crop conditions and address concerns.
The group also participated in a conference put on by the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA), with Lohmar moderating a panel at the event and Murden and Cordero presenting on the current crop year progress in the United States. Conference attendance exceeded 400 participants and addressed topics in food safety, inspection management methods and sustainability in China.
Participants visited the State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) in Beijing, a trading organization that imports both sorghum and dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), to gain insights into regulatory constraints facing continued exports of U.S. sorghum.
While sorghum imports to China have slowed, it remains a critical market.
Source: U.S. Grains Council