WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S — The Export Exchange conference hosted this fall by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is already paying dividends, according to new surveys of overseas grain buyers who attended – to the tune of nearly a half billion dollars’ worth of grain and ethanol co-product sales.

Buyers and end-users were asked after the conference if they made purchase agreements with sellers and how much volume was purchased. In total, attendees reported sales of approximately 2.6 million tonnes of grains and co-products worth $460 million traded either at the conference or immediately before or after.

The top grain traded during the two-day conference was corn, with 924,500 tonnes collectively exchanged, followed by distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), with 875,000 tonnes exchanged. This means buyers at the conference struck deals to purchase an amount of DDGS equivalent to roughly 8% of last year’s total U.S. DDGS exports.

“Trade is absolutely critical to U.S. farmers right now, and these sales show that buyers attending Export Exchange 2016 took the buying opportunities very seriously,” said Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of USGC. “Putting buyers and sellers together, building and sustaining relationships with our top global grain buyers have been hallmarks of council activities worldwide. We are thrilled to see how much actual trade was done at the show and in association with it.”

Export Exchange 2016 offered attendees an opportunity to meet and build relationships with domestic suppliers of corn, DDGS, sorghum, barley and other commodities. More than 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products from more than 35 countries were in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., for the conference, held Oct. 24-26, and for related tours of U.S. farms, ethanol plants and export infrastructure as part of Council trade teams.

 “This conference and these tremendous sales figures show how much of an appetite there is globally for U.S.-produced feed grains and co-products,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA. “It’s no surprise that the top two commodities traded during the conference were corn and DDGS, a co-product of U.S. ethanol production. With a record corn supply anticipated for the 2016-17 marketing year, exports will continue to be essential as we move forward in a global market.”

Other grains traded at Export Exchange included:

  • Corn Gluten — 25,200 tonnes
  • Sorghum — 428,000 tonnes
  • Barley — 5,000 tonnes