USGC: Marketing programs pay off for US coproducts in Turkey

By U.S. Grains Council | September 29, 2017

Turkey’s imports of U.S. corn coproducts surged in the 2016-‘17 marketing year, a significant pay off for U.S. Grains Council marketing programs in the country. 

Turkey is the second largest buyer of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in the 2016-‘17 marketing year (Sept.-July) with 1.29 million metric tons of imports, nearly double the total from last marketing year. Additionally, Turkey is the fourth largest buyer of U.S. corn gluten feed/meal, purchasing almost 196,000 tons in 2016-‘17. 

“Thanks to the combination of competitive prices and our efforts to provide education on the product, Turkey is a top buyer this marketing year,” said Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade. “But market education remains a major hurdle to overcome to building a long-term market.” 

Cordero led an assessment mission to Turkey in April 2016 focused on finding ways to expand demand for U.S. DDGS. The information gathered there laid the foundation for engaging regional buyers and building confidence in purchasing opportunities as U.S. DDGS became very price competitive in the market.

The Council then engaged Turkey’s six major feed grain importing companies in October 2016 by bringing representatives from their leadership to Export Exchange 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. Associated with the conference, team members visited corn farmers, ethanol plants and major grain exporters in Wisconsin and Michigan. At the conclusion of the conference, the Turkish participants were surveyed and reported they bought or were negotiating purchases of approximately 110,000 metric tons of corn, DDGS and corn gluten feed, valued at $18.2 million. 

In addition, the council organized regional seminars on corn and sorghum quality to build confidence in existing marketing opportunities. These efforts included a conference in Rome, Italy, in July 2017 to connect end-users from both regions with U.S. farmers, grain suppliers and technology companies for education and the opportunity to make or negotiate sales.

“Increasing demand for meat, dairy and poultry products is a key driver of growth in the feed industry in Turkey, where rising household incomes are leading consumers to demand more and higher-quality protein products,” Cordero said. “But, the market remains volatile due to on-again, off-again restrictions, political instability and exchange fluctuations. As a result, the Council will stay very active in helping to capitalize on demand opportunities as they arise.”

Learn more about the council’s work in Turkey here.