U.S. Exports of DDGS Diversify

The United States continues to export significant quantities of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS). DDGS are co-products of corn ethanol production and a competitive feed ingredient in the United States and elsewhere. Demand has been driven by its use as both a protein and energy source in feed rations. China accounted for nearly half of U.S. exports in 2014/15 (Oct-Sep) but roughly one-quarter this past year. With robust foreign demand beyond China, U.S. exports have diversified.

Exports to other countries have expanded as a result of competitive prices relative to substitutes (e.g., soybean meal). In Southeast Asia, for example, it appears that large quantities of rice unfit for human consumption have increased the demand for a protein source. Old rice can be mixed with DDGS to help produce a balanced, cost-effective feed ration.

Compared to the preceding year, exports to Vietnam increased 74 percent while shipments to Thailand increased 62 percent. Outside of Southeast Asia, exports to Mexico and South Korea have increased each year since 2012/13. As DDGS prices trend downward and soybean meal prices remain relatively higher, DDGS exports have become more competitive.

OVERVIEW

For 2016/17, global corn production is projected higher from last month with larger crops for Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, Indonesia, and Russia. Global trade is projected higher, primarily driven by stronger imports from Colombia, Iran, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Exports are raised for Brazil and Russia on greater supplies. The U.S. season-average farm price is forecast 5 cents higher to $3.35 per bushel.

PRICES

Since the release of the November WASDE, South American quotes moved higher on tight nearby supplies. The Brazilian quote is up $1/ton to $185, while Argentine is up $9/ton to $183. In comparison, U.S. and Black Sea quotes have ended lower on large supplies, with the U.S. quote down $6/ton to $159 and Black Sea down $3/ton to $167. U.S. corn has remained the lowest since February on a FOB basis, reflecting abundant U.S. production and relatively tight supplies in competitor countries.

TRADE CHANGES IN 2016/17

Selected Exporters

  • Brazilian corn is raised 1.0 million tons to 22.0 million on a record crop.
  • Russian corn is boosted 600,000 tons to 5.3 million on record production.
  • Argentine barley is down 200,000 tons to 2.0 million with a smaller crop.
  • Australian barley is up 300,000 tons to 7.0 million on a record crop, while sorghum is slashed 500,000 tons to 400,000 reflecting reduced crop prospects.

Selected Importers

  • Algerian corn is boosted 200,000 tons to 4.5 million on stronger expected feed use.
  • Canadian corn is down 500,000 tons to 1.0 million offset by larger production.
  • Chinese sorghum is cut 500,000 tons to 5.0 million reflecting recent slow purchases and tight supplies from Australia, a major supplier.
  • Colombian corn is raised 300,000 tons to 4.8 million on brisk sales from the United States.
  • Egyptian corn is up 250,000 tons to 9.0 million on stronger demand for competitively priced feed grains.
  • EU corn is down 400,000 tons to 13.1 million on larger supplies of feed-quality wheat and higher domestic production.
  • Indonesian corn is cut 300,000 tons to 1.7 million as import-restrictive policies are in place, and the government promotes self-sufficiency in corn production.
  • Iranian corn is up 500,000 tons to 7.0 million on stronger demand for competitively-priced feed grains and larger exportable supplies in Brazil, a major supplier.
  • Malaysian corn is up 200,000 tons to 3.8 million on competitive global prices.
  • Taiwanese corn is boosted 400,000 tons to 4.6 million on robust feed demand.
  • Vietnamese corn is raised 1.0 million tons to 7.5 million with stronger feed demand and greater exportable supplies in Brazil, the top supplier.