USGS reports DDGS-related progress in Algeria, Taiwan

By Holly Jessen | September 17, 2013

The U.S. Grains Council recently made announcements about positive international developments, with the first importation of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) arriving in Algeria and plans by Taiwan to purchase U.S. grains products, including DDGS.

It was a year ago when USGC and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service announced that a three and a half year effort to convince Algeria to remove a value added tax and custom tax on all feed imports to Algeria, including DDGS, which was taxed at a 17 percent rate. As a result, no U.S. DDGS or corn gluten feed (which was taxed at 30 percent) had been imported to Algeria. On Sept. 12, USGS said the first shipment of DDGS and corn gluten feed had been unloaded. Import duties and taxes have been reduced to zero until August 2014. "This shipment of U.S. DDGS and [corn gluten feed] will open the door for end-users in Algeria to buy U.S. corn coproducts in the future,” said Cary Sifferath, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa. “The Council sees opportunities for these products fitting well into both the Algerian poultry and dairy industries."

USGS is also working to educate large Algerian commercial feed companies and end-users on incorporating the feed products in livestock rations. Algeria, the second largest country in North Africa, has a population of 35 million. The country is the No. 2 largest importer of feed grains on the continent, behind only Egypt, and is the largest importer of food products in Africa, USGS pointed out. Only 3 percent of the country is considered arable, meaning it imports 80 percent of its food needs.

The DDGS-related development in Taiwan happened Sept. 10, when the Taiwanese Agricultural Goodwill Mission signed a letter of intent with USGS, agreeing to purchase 5 million metric tons of U.S. corn, 500,000 tons of DDGS and other grain products in the next two calendar years. The total value of intended purchases is estimated at more than $4 billion.

"Over the last 40 years, Taiwan has been one of the most import export markets for U.S. coarse grains and products," said Julius Schaaf, USGC chairman. "With Taiwan producing less than one percent of its needed grains, the United States is able to be a major supplier to the nation. In 2011-2012, Taiwan was the sixth-largest U.S. corn market, the third-largest U.S. barley market and the seventh-largest U.S. sorghum market. The council is proud of the partnership we have had with Taiwan for many years and are excited for the possibilities that continue to grow from this partnership."