USGC: US DDGS exports to Korea hit new record

By U.S Grains Council | March 17, 2022

The U.S. Grains Council has been working on expanding U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) exports to Korea through two strategies – increasing DDGS inclusion rates in animal feeds and providing business-to-business interactions between U.S. suppliers and Korean buyers. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Council from hosting its planned in-person technical seminars and buyer-supplier meetings. Instead, outreach shifted to a variety of programs and activities to help the Korean feed industry maintain inclusion rates despite a challenging price environment at the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions.

In May 2020, the Council’s Korea office printed and distributed to the feed industry 250 copies of the Korean version of the Council’s DDGS Handbook in order to promote higher inclusion rates of U.S. DDGS in all livestock rations. The North Asian Council offices (Korea, Japan, and Taiwan) jointly held a virtual seminar on the efficient use of U.S. DDGS in livestock and poultry feed in July, with more than 80 Korean feed companies participated online. In October, 75 DDGS buyers and end-users participated in Virtual Grain Exchange 2020 to receive updated market information and to meet U.S. DDGS suppliers virtually.

Through these activities to demonstrate the Council’s understanding of obstacles and solutions for the evolving market, close communication with local industry, and providing the technology and market information that buyers want, DDGS purchases were maintained despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s market impacts. A total of $245 million (1,221 TMT) of U.S. DDGS was exported to South Korea, a seventh consecutive record year of exports. During that time, the average DDGS feed inclusion ratio had increased significantly from 2.2 percent in 2013 to 6.1 percent in 2020.

Compared to 2013, U.S. exports of DDGS to Korea increased 100.4 percent from $124.7 million in 2013 to $249.9 million in 2020. By volume, exports increased 224.3 percent, from 376.5 TMT to 1,221 TMT. Over the past seven years, the Council has invested $517,000 of MAP and ATP funds to support increased U.S. DDGS exports of $125.2 million, creating a return on investment (ROI) of $242 for every $1 invested.