USGC webinars tackle DDGS nutrition, quality and storage

By U.S. Grains Council | August 06, 2020

Two technical webinars in July expanded the U.S. Grains Council’s engagement and future export opportunities for U.S. distillers dried grains with solubes (DDGS) to Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia is a trader’s market thanks to expansive geography and a mix of multinationals and local participants, all competing to supply growing markets. Thanks to extensive technical education and trade servicing by USGC staff, U.S. DDGS is expanding its footprint in countries throughout the region. Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand all rank in the top 10 buyers for the co-product. Other markets like the Philippines and Malaysia are also increasing interest and purchases of U.S. DDGS and other corn co-products.

“Southeast Asia is now the destination for one-third of all U.S. DDGS exports,” said Caleb Wurth, USGC assistant director of Southeast Asia. “The region will be one of the strongest performing markets for distiller’s grains this marketing year, despite challenges related to movement restrictions, lack of available containers and new trade agreements signed between major markets and U.S. competitors.”

The DDGS Tech Talk series followed webinars focused on trade policy and challenges and opportunities in the region. The first talk was conducted in partnership with PAFMI (the Philippine Feed Mill Association) with technical staff of PAFMI member companies joining the webinar. PAFMI members represent the largest segment of the Philippine feed industry, making this partnership critical to expanding trade relationships in the country.

“When designing the program, we wanted to address the top constraints to increased DDGS usage in the Philippines,” Wurth said. “Leading examples were storage and handling followed by nutritional value awareness, which became our focus topics for the webinar.”

The second talk was conducted with one of the largest feed millers in Southeast Asia, part of a new strategic partnership in the region. More than 60 decision-level participants logged in from all the company’s offices in Southeast Asia, South Asia and North Asia. The webinar also focused on DDGS nutrition, quality for swine and poultry feed, and storage techniques in tropical conditions.

“We have maintained a high level of engagement in Southeast Asia, even with the constraints of the pandemic,” Wurth said. “These talks are a good example of how we have been engaged with companies on a regional level – some that we had not reached to before expanding our e-communication platforms.”

These topic-specific webinars were aimed at helping nutritionists in the region push the maximum levels of DDGS inclusion by dispelling lingering misconceptions and concerns about quality issues from years ago. These technical discussions also provide the opportunity for one-on-one engagement with major players in the Southeast Asian feed market, allowing for more detailed questions and discussions.

“For some of these companies, even raising DDGS inclusion levels by one percent can result in significant export opportunities for U.S. farmers and agribusinesses,” Wurth said. “We are already receiving follow-up requests – both for information and for additional face-to-face programming when travel here resumes.”