The U.S. Grains Council, a non-profit organization focused on developing international markets for U.S. corn, barley, sorghum and related co-products, recently hosted a team of Mexican consultants and buyers to the United States to gather insights on the U.S. sorghum industry.
Julio Hernandez, USGC director in Mexico and Central America, noted, “This was a unique team in that most participants knew quite a bit about the production and importation of U.S. sorghum. This mission was focused on the more technical side of how different processing techniques will relate to different nutritional values, for each species of animal, as well as the commercial side of how to procure it.”
He said it is important for the participants to fully understand the U.S. grain trade, “so they are aware, when talking to future customers, what’s involved in buying sorghum from the United States.” U.S. sorghum is currently trading at a competitive rate to other feed ingredients. With Mexico’s weakened economy, it provides savings in input costs, allowing Mexican farmers the ability to provide a stable supply of meat, milk and eggs for its growing population.
“It was a very good opportunity for us. We heard a lot of information about sorghum and its nutritional value,” said Gabriel Perez, buyer for Empresas Guadalupe, of the marketable qualities of U.S. sorghum. “For me, that’s very important when looking for new clients.”
Guadalupe currently imports 170,000 metric tons (6.7 million bushels) of sorghum annually from the United States and intends to do more business in the future.
One tour participant works for 10 companies that import U.S. sorghum for several different species, totaling about 250,000 tons (9.8 million bushels) annually.
Total U.S. sorghum imported by Mexico last year was more than 1 million tons (39.4 million bushels), which is used for livestock feed ingredients. “We have to bring sorghum to the buyer as fast and frequently as possible, letting them know it is available,” said Hernandez.