USGC partners attend NCI procurement course

By U.S. Grains Council | October 13, 2022

The U.S. Grains Council recently hosted a group of nine buyers principally from North Africa (Morocco), the Middle East (Turkey and Israel) and West Africa (Senegal and Nigeria) who attended the Northern Crops Institute’s (NCI’s) coarse grains procurement training program.

The course offered feed grain buyers and end-users lectures and tours that provided market intelligence and marketing information, while helping the Council continue to build strong relationships with key regional corn importers.

The 10-day course allowed team members to better understand how end-users procure grain and use financial tools such as options and futures. They had the chance to gain a wide-ranging sense of the U.S. grain handling and its marketing systems through a combination of intensive in-classroom seminars at NCI and North Dakota State University’s (NDSU’s) Commodity Trading Room.

Throughout the program, participants learned how to extract and analyze market information and assess risk when trading through simulated exercises. After the training, the team also visited nearby grain farms to review the current year’s corn crop and traveled to Duluth, Minnesota, to visit the port authority export facility and a U.S. grain trader.

“The Middle East and Africa region is a dynamic, growing area for U.S. coarse grains and co-products. As an example, Senegal recently began importing U.S. corn co-products,” said Mohamed Salah Bouthour, USGC assistant regional director for Africa. “Because of educational programs like this, the Council is able to expand its influence within the emerging industries in the region to develop future markets and enable trade.”

Together, Turkey, Morocco and Israel imported roughly 1.65 million metric tons of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and corn gluten feed (CGF) combined in the 2020/21 marketing year, making them primary markets for U.S. corn co-products in the region.

“The Council is providing key market information and technical assistance through activities like NCI procurement courses to guarantee that key partners in the region stay informed on market conditions,” Bouthour said. “Ensuring that importers understand all the mechanisms necessary within the grain trade industry is imperative when overseas customers are making purchasing decisions.”