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Timing Right for US Sorghum Exports to Asia

01 November 2010

GLOBAL - End-users and feed millers in Indonesia and Viet Nam are quickly learning the benefits of utilising US sorghum in their animal feed rations.

Working to introduce US sorghum as an alternative feed ingredient, Alvaro Cordero, US Grains Council manager of international operations, and Dr Joe Hancock of Kansas State University, travelled to Indonesia and Viet Nam last week to promote US sorghum as a viable feed ingredient for use in poultry and swine rations. Currently, the use of sorghum by the countries' feed millers has been practically nonexistent.

Mr Cordero explained: "The addition of sorghum to the repertoire of feed ingredients used would be highly beneficial to the region as sorghum currently has a zero per cent import tariff in Indonesia and a five per cent tariff in Viet Nam."

Seminars and workshops funded in part by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program enabled Mr Cordero and Dr Hancock to present the latest updates regarding the nutritional value of sorghum and demonstrate its competitiveness in feed formulations.

Indonesia's meat production is dominated by its large poultry sector, which accounts for 75 percent of total feed demand. Indonesian poultry consumption has been growing 6 percent annually on the back of steady economic growth and increase in purchasing power among consumers. Feed production has also been growing alongside feed demand at an estimated rate of seven per cent per year. These fundamentals add to the growing prospect of Indonesia as a consistent importer of US feed grains, such as sorghum.

Viet Nam is also a growing market for US sorghum and corn as local and regional corn crops are of poor quality, according to Mr Cordero. "While the import tariff for US yellow corn and sorghum is five per cent, local corn is priced relatively high at $300 per metric ton. Import price for US corn and sorghum is around $315 per ton CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight). As Viet Nam continues to develop, people will pay the extra price for a better quality product."

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