Export Exchange 2016 Presents Great Opportunity

The Export Exchange 2016 is essential. It brings together international buyers and end users of coarse grains and other products, including DDGS, with U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives.This article appears in the October print issue.
By Bob Dinneen | September 20, 2016

The export market continues to serve as a crucial source of demand for U.S. ethanol, demonstrating that gasoline blenders in foreign markets increasingly are valuing ethanol for its unique octane and oxygenate properties. Meantime, ethanol coproducts, such as distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), help boost industry profitability, providing another opportunity for exports. China has been the largest customer of U.S. DDGS the past few years, though the country has been weighing whether to impose antidumping duties on the coproduct. With that unpredictability, it’s important the U.S. industry identify and develop new markets.

That’s why the Export Exchange 2016 is so essential. It brings together international buyers and end users of coarse grains and other products, including DDGS, with U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives.

The biennial conference, Oct. 24-26 in Detroit, is cosponsored by the Renewable Fuels Association and the U.S. Grains Council. It provides an excellent forum for international buyers and sellers to trade products. The event is expected to attract nearly 500 attendees, including 200 from 30 countries participating as part of USGC trade teams.

The previous Export Exchange in 2014 attracted buying teams from 33 countries, including all of the top U.S. international grain markets, and generated more than $1 billion in sales. The U.S. ethanol industry has emerged as a major producer of high-quality animal feeds such as DDGS and corn gluten feed. The Export Exchange provides a venue to connect producers and marketers of those coproducts with customers around the world.

 The United States is the world’s largest exporter of coarse grains and, with an anticipated record corn harvest expected to reach export channels, the conference provides an opportunity for the world’s top buyers to have access to these products.

 In addition to networking opportunities, the conference will have general sessions that will address critical issues facing U.S. agricultural exports, offering the customers and sellers in attendance an increased awareness of the benefits of U.S. coarse grains and coproducts.

 Keynote speaker will be Christopher W. Nolan Sr., managing director and co-head of food, beverage and agribusiness coverage at PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance LLC. His experience in providing advisory services to the world’s leading ag commodities trading companies gives him a unique outlook on the international grains market, which he will discuss during his presentation, entitled “Global Megatrends Affecting Agribusiness.”

Other speakers include Geoff Cooper, RFA senior vice president; me; Nancy DeVore, president of DHF Team, who will speak on the global grains outlook; Dr. Jerry Shurson, professor of swine nutrition at the University of Minnesota, who will speak on DDGS nutrition; Kyle Tapley, senior agricultural meteorologist at Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Information Systems, who will discuss weather trends and the global grain market; and Paul Hishmeh, director of data and technology at Field to Market, who will present on big data and sustainability.

Meantime, among the numerous groups attending will be those from the Middle East and North Africa—two regions with rapidly expanding markets and interests in corn and DDGS. Countries with representation at Export Exchange 2016 will include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey.

Registration is available online at www.exportexchange.org. USGC and RFA members will be eligible for discounted pricing. Members of the media covering the grain trade and ethanol industries can request comped registration for the conference via the registration process.

RFA will continue to be involved in efforts to help boost U.S. ethanol and coproduct exports through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program, which recruits prescreened foreign buyer delegations and brings them to selected trade shows and conferences in the United States, connecting U.S. companies with international buyers. As the lowest-cost producer of ethanol, the U.S. has emerged as the world's most reliable and cost-effective source of the fuel and RFA will continue to be active in all trade-related activities.

Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO,
Renewable Fuels Association