Grain, DDGS Marketers Meet in Twin Cities

Markham, Shurson Take Part in Panel Discussion
By Kathy Bryan | August 01, 2003
The Hilton Minneapolis buzzed with activity July 20-24 because of the U.S. Grains Council's 43rd Board of Delegates' Meeting and 4th International Grain Marketing Conference and Trade Show. Upwards of 400 people from all over the world gathered for the conference, the purpose of which was to provide an educational forum for the Council's customers worldwide. Those guests included grain traders, feed mill owners, as well as government and organization officials.

The program included an update on the ever-developing distillers grains market. Two well-known experts, Steve Markham, senior merchandiser with Commodity Specialist Company, and Dr. Jerry Shurson, professor at the University of Minnesota, were joined in a panel discussion by Luis Pericas, senior trader with Ceralto the largest importer in Spain and Jorge Patino, the director of technology for Finca S.A., a grain company in Colombia.

Approximately 3.2 to 3.5 million metric tons of distillers grains are produced annually in North America, according to the University of Minnesota. In 1980, North American production of DDGS was 320,000 metric tons.

In North America, the dairy industry consumes an estimated 45 percent of the DDGS produced, while the beef industry consumes an estimated 35 percent, the swine industry 15 percent and the poultry industry five percent, according to Markham.

This year, much of North America's DDGS exports will go to the European community, Markham said. The consumption of DDGS in Spain, for example, has increased in recent years, said Pericas, who works as a senior trader for Ceralto. The company imports approximately 100,000 tons of DDGS out of the 300,000 tons the country consumes. In addition to Europe, export opportunities for North American DDGS lie closer at hand in Canada and Mexico, which are accessible by rail, barge and container freight, Markham pointed out. DDGS sales can be made up to two years in advance, Markham added.

For the swine diet, the "new generation" DDGS is higher in digestible nutrients and is an economical partial replacement for corn, soybean meal and dicalcium phosphate. For poultry, "new generation" DDGS must be used, Shurson said. It is an excellent energy and phosphorus source and is an effective partial replacement for corn and soybean meal, Shurson added. For dairy cows and beef cattle, DDGS is an excellent protein source, he said.

More information about DDGS can be found at a Web site developed by the University of Minnesota at

The dynamics of ethanol worldwide was the topic for another panel chaired by Theresa Schmalshof, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, which included C.M. Lynn, U.S. Grains Council - Taiwan, Brazilian Grains Council representative Alfredo Navarro de Andrade, and Mike Bryan, BBI International.

The Minnesota and Illinois Corn Grower Associations co-hosted a riverboat trip on the Mississippi River where grain exports begin in the Midwest. Attendees viewed a river terminal and passed through a lock. Following the close of the conference, many participants also toured ethanol plants in the region. EP