WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Japan's imports of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in 2011 surged 31% ahead of 2010 levels, and U.S. market share, already dominant, climbed from 89% to 93.7%, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said on May 10.

Japan's DDGS imports thus far in 2012 are on track to exceed last year's record, with U.S. market share edging up yet again, to 96% through the first quarter.

Japan has long been the top international customer for U.S. corn, and the continued growth in interest in DDGS is encouraging, USGC said. Fully 58% of DDGS are fed to layers, with other sectors sharing the remainder. The removal of oil by U.S. distillers and the sale of new, low-fat DDGS has attracted the attention of Japanese buyers, and the USGC office in Japan has been in close contact with customers to answer any questions.