“It’s simple. The sale of $22 million worth of U.S. sorghum to Mexico in three months would not have happened without the investments of Council members,” said Chris Corry, U.S. Grains Council senior director of international operations for Rest of the World, in regards to an ongoing effort by the Council to revive a once robust sorghum market in Mexico.
Starting in April, special funding from the Council’s sorghum members has allowed a series of teams of Mexican importers and buyers to travel to the United States for a firsthand look at U.S. sorghum production and transportation. Among the Mexican team participants was Arturo Basulto, purchasing manager for feed grains and oilseeds at Inter Industrias del Sureste, S.A. in Yucatan, Mexico. Basulto participated in several of the initiatives, each time contracting sales of U.S. sorghum for the Yucatan state. So far, Basulto has assisted in the tendering of 80,000 tons (3.1 million bushels) of U.S. sorghum as a result of this initiative. He indicated plans to purchase 31,000 tons (1.2 million bushels) of U.S. sorghum per month through November.
“The U.S. Grains Council has played an important role in supporting us from the beginning. You all have provided the connections to grain farmers, agribusiness representatives and the field specialists needed to improve our operations. This information and assistance is not always available,” said Basulto as he addressed more than 300 attendees at the Council’s 49th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in San Diego, Calif., today. “Many times your work is not visible immediately, but your efforts will help increase the imports of feed ingredients to Mexico.”
In 2008, Yucatan imported 335,000 metric tons of U.S. corn and sorghum. So far in 2009, it has imported 237,900 tons of corn and sorghum and Basulto anticipates 210,000 tons to be imported the second part of the year.
“This goes to show the impact of partnerships between the Council and its members and the hard work and dedication the staff of producer checkoffs put forward to ensure this initiative goes as planned,” said Corry. “The Council serves as the international market arm for the U.S. producer. In order to secure U.S. grains a home in the global marketplace, it is essential that U.S. producers establish and build solid relationships with global end-users.”