A delegation from Missouri Corn traveled to Mexico and secured a multiyear agreement to increase the amount of U.S. dried distillers grain with solubles going into the country.
The group of Missouri farmers, along with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Regional Livestock Pork Producers Union of Sonora, met in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, and signed a memorandum of understanding stating Mexico would import more DDGS from the U.S.
It is the culmination of a project that began three years ago with the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council identifying the area as a key market opportunity to sell DDGS for feed in both the swine and poultry industries.
Then in 2018, the council and the union made a joint investment to purchase hard car unloaders — known as “stingers” — for the Ciudad Obregon rail terminal in the state of Sonora, where U.S. DDGS will be stored and used.
MORE DDGS: Mexico agreed to buy more U.S. DDGS. The country already is the top buyer of U.S. corn, barley and DDGS with purchases of 2.13 million metric tons of DDGS in 2017-18, up 3% year-over-year. It often is unloaded at antiquated facilities. MCMC purchased equipment to help make the process more efficient.
A stinger is a hydraulic arm that decreases the time and number of employees needed to unload DDGS from rail cars. The new equipment in Sonora will help increase the efficiency of DDGS shipments arriving at the terminal.
“Northwest Mexico is an underserved market for U.S. DDGS — there is virtually no DDGS coming into the region today,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC director in Mexico. The council and Missouri Corn partnered with swine producers to purchase a stinger, and the Mexico farmers, in turn, bought their own.
Gerardo Ramos, treasurer of the union, said the installation of the two stingers is important because U.S. DDGS will help farmers in the area lower production costs.
“For years, we were unable to use DDGS because the freight costs were killing us,” he said. “With these stingers, we can more cost-effectively incorporate it into our livestock diets.”
Global market access always has been a key component of the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council’s mission. It, along with the U.S. Grains Council, works to find new demand for corn and corn co-products, including ethanol and DDGS.
Missouri Corn Chairman Mike Moreland said the state’s corn checkoff has made “significant investments to help build the relationship with Mexico as a grain customer.”
UPGRADE: MCMC partnered with swine producers in the Mexican state of Sonora to buy stingers to help unload U.S. DDGS. A stinger is a hydraulic arm that decreases the time and number of employees needed to unload DDGS from rail cars.
The Missouri Corn Merchandising Council took a regional approach to make this project a success when it identified Sonora as a potential market for U.S. DDGS. To increase purchases, it worked with the union and the Sonora Poultry Association, whose members also will benefit from the import of U.S. DDGS into the region.
Sonora is the second-largest pork producing state in Mexico, producing 229,600 metric tons per year with 2% growth year-over-year. The union uses about 50,000 metric tons of feed grains monthly — 40% from the U.S. — and makes consolidated grain purchases for its members. The association’s members operate large-scale programs that include breeding, fattening and processing.
Sonora also is the third-largest egg-producing state in the country, and Sonora’s poultry association members use 20,000 metric tons of feed grains monthly to feed their 12 million layers.
The memorandum of understanding signing caps off the program, but the effort does not end there. The parties agreed to schedule periodic reviews of the equipment, evaluate progress and identify opportunities, problems and strategies for successful, ongoing development of the project.