JERUSALEM — For the past six years, Israel has been a small but steady buyer of U.S. corn co-products such as distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal as seen in the chart. U.S. feed grains have a difficult time competing in Israeli’s market due to competition from the Black Sea region and from South America.
Even with this competition, however, U.S. corn co-products have found a niche market in Israel. Many countries in the Middle East only import a limited amount of U.S. corn which gives fewer opportunities for combination shipments of corn with DDGS and corn gluten feed.
If these countries do not bring in full vessels, U.S. corn co-products are more expensive than alternatives and thus alternatives are more popular. Even with the lack of U.S. feed grains being imported to the Middle East, Israel importers are able to bring in full vessels of U.S. corn co-products or mixing U.S. corn co-products with U.S. soybeans. This creates a way for corn co-products to be competitive in Israel.
Some upcoming shipments to Israel even have U.S. sunflower meal shipped in combination with U.S. corn co-products to keep costs low.
“Israel is a good market that the U.S. Grains Council needs to keep in contact with, especially the key importers and end-users,” said Cary Sifferath, USGC regional director in Tunisia. “The Council’s long term strategy is to build partnerships that position the Council to be able to have influence in this market when opportunities exisit for U.S. feed grains and corn co-products to compete in this market.”
Through trade servicing efforts the council is maintaining and developing contacts with Middle East importers, government officials and livestock producers. These relationships are vital to the understanding of markets as they continue to evolve and enable the Council to respond to opportunities that arise, or to react to threats to U.S. market share.