USGC assesses demand for DDGS, sorghum in Turkey

By U.S. Grains Council | April 25, 2016

Increasing demand for meat, dairy and poultry products is a key driver for growth in the feed industry all around the world, including Turkey, where rising household incomes are leading consumers to demand more and higher-quality protein products.

U.S. Grains Council Manager of Global Trade Alvaro Cordero recently led an assessment mission in that market looking for ways to expand demand for U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and to create new demand for U.S. sorghum.

The Turkish feed and food industries are challenged to satisfy demand from the country's 80 million citizens while also being a net exporter of food goods to the Middle East region.

Feed imports for livestock and poultry rations are necessary to meet this demand, and historically Turkey had been a strong market for U.S. corn coproducts such as DDGS and corn gluten feed (CGF). However, in 2009, the country enacted a biosafety law that effectively shut out U.S. corn coproducts imports that contained genetically modified corn events that were not approved by the country. 

While U.S. DDGS and CGF have continued to flow to Turkey, the market has varied from year to year with trading companies taking differing approaches to working within the restrictions, which include testing for unapproved traits in shipments. Still, this expensive testing does not remove the risks for Turkish importers, which means this market for U.S. corn coproducts will remain unpredictable.

The information gathered this week will help inform USGC’s plans to follow up with local industry on how to overcome these impediments for U.S. DDGS and consider other grain imports, including sorghum.

“Despite the challenges we are seeing with DDGS, the Turkish market has the potential to import U.S. sorghum, which does not face biotech-related barriers,” Cordero said.

While there are 130 percent import duties on feed grains coming into Turkey there are provisions for non-duty imports specifically for users producing value-added products for export. 

“U.S. sorghum is high-quality and could fill the needs of a small, niche market,” Cordero said.

As in many potential markets for U.S. grains, one of the major hurdles to overcome will be market education.

“Developing the market for U.S. sorghum will take time,” Cordero said. “Buyers and end-users know little to nothing on how to properly utilize sorghum in their feed rations. However, this can be overcome with USGC market development work, such as nutritionists giving one-on-one consultations and seminars.”

Click here to read past Global Update articles about Turkey.