USGC: Turkish buyer delegation explores DDGS export opportunities

By U.S. Grains Council | November 18, 2021

Turkish buyers of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) recently arrived stateside, hosted by the U.S. Grains Council, to learn how the supply chain for DDGS works – from producing corn in the field to DDGS production to delivering cargoes to the end-user. As a result, the Council was able to help create stronger trade relationships for the future between the buyers and U.S. exporters.

While in the States, the delegation met with exporters, visited the Port of Savannah and attended the Distillers Grains Technology Council Symposium.

“Turkey has been a valued partner since they bought their first significant quantities of DDGS almost 15 years ago,” said Kurt Shultz, Council senior director of global strategies. “There is still room for growth in the Turkish poultry and large animal markets, and these visits are essential to realizing that.”

On their first stop, the team visited Illinois, where it toured Marquis Energy and the farm of Paul and Donna Jeschke, Illinois Corn Marketing Board and USGC members. Paul sits on the Council’s Ethanol Advisory Team.

While at Marquis Energy, the group learned about the strategic placement of the ethanol plant on the Illinois River and the new technology created in-house to enhance the quality of DDGS. Later, on the Jeschke farm, the buyers toured grain storage facilities and visited the fields during harvest.

The delegation departed Illinois for the Port of Savannah, where it witnessed container ships being loaded and offloaded and visited a trans-loader facility at which co-products including DDGS are unloaded from rail cars into containers that then leave via the port for overseas destinations.

“Seeing the Port of Savannah was great for this team,” said Reece Cannady, Council manager of global trade. “Turkey is primarily a bulk market, and they have been that way for some time. However, in the recent months we’ve seen more container trade flow into the Turkish market, so there was a lot of curiosity surrounding container logistics in the U.S. That is something they really haven’t looked at before.”

Before heading home, the delegation attended the 25th Annual Distillers Grains Technology Council Symposium in Louisville, Kentucky. The symposium provided up-to-date information on DDGS marketing, animal nutrition, processing technologies and government regulations. The delegation learned about new industry trends and technologies throughout the conference. The group also met with U.S. DDGS suppliers while in Louisville, discussing exports to Turkey.

This program has been a continuation of extensive work done in the Turkish market by Council staff. Partnering with Ankara University, the Council conducted a trial with broiler feed, showing up to $6 per metric ton in feed cost reduction. Currently, the Council is engaging in another trial of layer feed, with results to be published in conjunction with the Turkish Egg Summit in December 2021.

The Council is also engaged with the dairy sector in Turkey. In July, the Council partnered with the Turkish Dairy, Meat, and Cattle Breeders’ Association (TUSEDAD) to host a webinar on the benefits of DDGS in dairy diets. The conference was televised on AgroTV Turkey and was viewed by more than 7,000 viewers, with more than 280 questions posed to the panel, of Council staff and academic partners.

“Our engagement in Turkey is extensive, and there is a reason for that,” said Ramy H. Taieb, Council regional director for the Middle East and Africa. “Reducing feed costs will be imperative to continue feed production growth in Turkey, and U.S. DDGS provide savings on a year-round basis.”

Turkey is the fourth-largest importer of U.S. DDGS, buying almost 1 million metric tons in the 2020/2021 marketing year.