USGC programs expand DDGS exports to Ireland

By U.S. Grains Council | August 07, 2019

Using Market Access Program funds, the U.S. Grains Council engaged the Irish feed industry in March 2019 to assess the distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) market and potential effects of the looming Brexit. Ireland is a significant importer of U.S. DDGS, buying 396,000 metric tons in 2019 valued at $91 million. As a result of this assessment, the Council discovered that while DDGS inclusion rates in ruminant animals were on par with U.S. inclusion rates, inclusion rates in monogastric (i.e. swine and poultry) diets were lagging.

As follow up, the Council continued to work with traders and end-users, educating them on the potential benefits of including more DDGS in swine diets. As a result, a leading feed mill in the Irish market has begun to expand their DDGS inclusion rates, confirming that they have increased DDGS to their swine formulations from 0 to 15 percent. The feed mill’s production is substantial, producing 500,000 metric tons of pig feed annually. This formulation change will lead to an additional demand for 75,000 tons of U.S. DDGS, annually valued at $17.2 million.

The Council invested $10,000 of MAP funds in this targeted promotion program, generating a return on investment (ROI) of $1,720 per $1 of MAP funds invested.

The benefits of this success will be furthered because the target company holds influence within the industry, and their shift could lead to further inclusion rates by other mills; this domino effect is quite common around the world. As other feed mills switch, the potential for DDGS exports for commercial swine feed in Ireland could reach as high as 200,000 tons, an additional export value of $46 million. This is roughly a 50 percent increase over already existing DDGS exports, which stood at 396,000 tons for 2018.

The Council has continued its engagement in the Irish swine feed industry, this time with its sights set on the on-farm swine feed mixing market. The Council plans to conduct a feeding trial with a 1,000-head swine farm in the north of Ireland owned by a group that sells raw materials. If this group can convince home mixers to switch to DDGS, the Council will be responsible for facilitating another 100,000 tons of DDGS exported to the island, valued at $23 million per year.