WASHINGTON, DC, US — A 24-member team of feed grain and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) buyers and a South Korean government official will explore US grain quality control and export systems Oct. 3-15 while visiting the states of Washington, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois ahead of the US Grain Council’s (USGC) Export Exchange.

The team is the first of 21 groups with participants from 51 countries that will travel to the United States leading into the Export Exchange, a biennial educational and trade forum for US feed grains that will host more than 400 international buyers and end-users. This year’s event will be Oct. 12-14 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US.

“In a situation where the grain market is very unstable due to extreme drought concerns in the northern hemisphere and the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, the harvest situation and quality of US corn are of the greatest concern to Korean buyers,” said Haksoo Kim, USGC director in South Korea. “This visit will serve as an opportunity to strengthen ties with US producers and suppliers and expand purchases of corn and DDGS, as Korea is the fifth largest importer of US corn and the third largest importer of DDGS.”

The South Korean team will have its first hands-on experience on Oct. 4 when it visits a grain export terminal and a grain inspection service in Washington. The group will then travel to the Midwest for a meeting with Nebraska Corn on Oct. 5 and have a tour of an ethanol plant, as well as discussions with key logistical supply chain partners, on Oct. 6.

The Oct. 7 itinerary will feature a morning meeting with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Julie Kenney at the state capitol, along with a farm tour and visit to the Iowa Corn Growers’ Association in the afternoon. Participants will arrive in Illinois on Oct. 8 in preparation for visits to local grain elevators and business-to-business meetings on Oct. 10. 

“For Korean buyers who have had limited opportunities to meet and discuss deals with US suppliers due to COVID-19, Export Exchange is expected to deliver great results for finding new suppliers and expanding purchase contracts with existing suppliers,” Kim said. “Business consultations between suppliers and buyers through this year's Export Exchange will contribute to an expected 1.2 million tons of U.S. DDGS exports to Korea, a record amount.”

The group is then set to arrive in Minneapolis on Oct. 11 for Export Exchange 2022, which will feature expert speakers on the key topics in the global agricultural marketplace, such as outlooks on international demand, policy challenges and opportunities and logistical export overviews. The event is also a major networking and business opportunity, where more than $400 million in grain sales were made in 2018. 

“The Council is delighted to have the chance to hold Export Exchange again for the first time since 2018 and to welcome in a diverse range of accompanying trade teams,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO. “It’s a great opportunity for foreign buyers to create connections with U.S. producers that can last a lifetime and benefit all parties.”

More information will be available online at www.exportexchange.org.