LUBBOCK, TEXAS, U.S. — A team of Mexican grain importers and feed millers from the National Association of Food Manufacturers for Animal Consumption (ANFACA) will visit the United States June 18-22 to tour major sorghum growing areas, develop new relationships as well as continue to strengthen existing relationships with U.S. suppliers.

The group of buyers selected by the U.S. Grains Council represents companies from central and northern Mexico, including the state of Jalisco, the No. 1 livestock producing state in the country, Michoacán and Sonora. Mexico is the fourth largest producer of livestock feed worldwide accounting for 33.87 million tonnes. Of this total, Jalisco, Sonora and Michoacán contribute to a combined 31% of overall production.

USGC president Tom Sleight
Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Grains Council

“For years, Mexico has been a valued trading partner with the United States, and the ties between U.S. sorghum farmers and Mexican importers has only grown, due in large part to the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement,” said Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Grains Council. “This team visit is another example of why maintaining an open line of communication is important. Mexican buyers have the opportunity to see the full U.S. sorghum value chain — from crops in the field to elevators and port facilities — and trips like these encourage continued direct sales between the two countries.”

The tour will include visits to sorghum suppliers and producers, feed mills, elevators, a rail facility, an ethanol plant and the Port of Houston. The team’s visit will focus on U.S. sorghum production, marketing and export logistics in Texas and Kansas.

“This trade mission is a great reflection of how organizations like USGC, the Sorghum Checkoff and other state organizations, such as Texas Grain Sorghum Producers and Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, work together to build and maintain market opportunities for U.S. producers,” said Florentino Lopez, executive director of the Sorghum Checkoff. “These buyers will leave with a better understanding of U.S. sorghum quality and production, helping build future sales to Mexico and increasing buyer trust.”

Mexico accounted for $103 million in exports of U.S. sorghum, equating to 568,254 tonnes (22.4 million bushels), during the 2016-17 marketing year. Mexico remains one of the chief importers of U.S. sorghum, second only to China in purchases.