U.S. Sorghum Merchandisers Visit Mexico

A team of U.S. merchandisers and trade representatives traveled to Mexico June 5-10 to discuss export logistics and market opportunities for sorghum. Sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP), the team visited Mexico to share information on how sorghum is used as a livestock feed for beef, poultry and swine producers. With long-standing trade relationships with several businesses in Mexico, this trip served as the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and expand partnerships into new areas of Mexico.

In the 2015/2016 marketing year, U.S. sorghum exports totaled 339 million bushels, or a $1.68 billion value. Mexico was the second largest importer of U.S. sorghum, receiving 24 million bushels. The primary market for sorghum use in Mexico is livestock feed, but advances in pet food formulations are providing new opportunities for the whole grain. The U.S. team of merchandisers shared information with potential buyers about sorghum's versatility and nutrient health benefits across multiple applications.

"This trip serves as our opportunity to share the value and accessibility of U.S. sorghum with potential buyers and to continue fostering long-lasting relationships," said USCP Regional Director Brent Crafton. "We are able to meet in person to discuss logistics, price, quality and sorghum use, which allows us to cultivate new partnerships and strengthen existing ones."

These trade team visits offer U.S. sorghum merchandisers and cooperatives the ability to discuss the import needs of the Mexican livestock feed market and to plan out logistic options for purchasing sorghum. This year's trip included three U.S. cooperatives from Texas and Kansas with rail access and the ability to sell directly to Mexican companies. With a large livestock industry in northern Mexico, U.S. sorghum producers in Texas and Kansas can take advantage of their access to rail lines and ship grain daily across the border. On the trip, the team visited with organizations like the Northeastern Cattle Feeder Association, Rancho Lucero Shuttle Station, Northwest Pork Producers Association, Inter Industrias and DENES, the third largest cattle producer in Mexico.

“USGC and USCP brings sorghum cooperatives to Mexico for direct meetings with end-users looking to purchase their grain,” said USGC Mexico Assistant Director Heidi Bringenberg. “The Council actively shares information with these end-users on crop conditions, quality and production, but direct conversations with suppliers are equally important to building this market.”

U.S. farmers can offer Mexican buyers their needed quantity and quality of sorghum grain, utilizing advantageous rail lines, ports and on-farm storage. With exports being the number one marketplace for U.S. sorghum growers, visiting buyers and providing logistical and price information in a face-to-face setting is a smart way to expand sorghum exports to Mexico. 

Photo by U.S. Grains Council