Export Exchange 2016 wraps up, trade teams head to the field

By U.S. Grains Council | October 31, 2016

More than 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and related products from more than 35 countries gathered in Detroit this week for Export Exchange 2016, meeting with U.S. suppliers and service providers across the corn, sorghum, barley and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) value chains.

Co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association, Export Exchange offers a unique opportunity for buyers and sellers to meet, build relationships and do business.

"At a time when we are looking at a record corn harvest and the clear need for international trade to be championed by our country's leaders, Export Exchange is critical for our industry," said Tom Sleight, president and CEO of council, as the conference began.

"It is essential for us to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and partner countries, and the connections made this week will not only help propel our industry this year, but for years to come."

The 2016 event hosted 19 council trade teams, a logistical feat that is offering international guests a prime view of corn and sorghum harvest and U.S. export infrastructure in more than 15 U.S. states. Team visits began in mid-October and will continue through next week.

"Being part of a council trade team lets an international customer from a mature market or a market just beginning to develop preferences for U.S. grains an opportunity to see what we have to offer, to see U.S. grain production and marketing channels, to ask questions of the farmer or ethanol plant manager," said Cary Sifferath, USGC senior director of global programs, who manages the staff team that puts together this effort.

"These tours are a crucial part of our global outreach, and we are excited to have so many international visitors on so many teams in the U.S. right now."

Updates on the Export Exchange-related tours ongoing for 19 trade teams are available on Twitter and Facebook using the #ExEx16 or #tradematters hashtags. 

Conference updates from the council, co-sponsor the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and media and members who attended the events in Detroit are on Twitter using #ExEx16

Photos from the conference in Detroit and on the road are online at USGC’s Flickr page

Other members are sharing updates on the conference via video and the always-reliable farm media

Many are also talking about the importance of trade to farmer profitability, of strong trade policy like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and export market development programs including the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program, which support USGC’s global network. 

Updates from the conference will also be posted online at the Export Exchange website, www.exportexchange.org.