June 8, 2015


US corn still a favorite with Saudi Arabia and North Africa


US corn sales may have been impeded by significant competitions from Ukraine and Argentina in April this year, but the country's shipments to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could still regain momentum in the coming weeks.


According to the US Grains Council (USGC), the notable popularity of US corn can be observed in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region. Demand is driven by a consensus on the strong quality of the crop, said to be of best value in the market, as well as the expansion of Saudi Arabia's livestock sector and its recent water policies.


Following a drought in 2012, it is "becoming obvious" that MENA nations will resume the acquisition of corn from the US, the USGC commented.


"We are especially seeing strong US corn sales to Saudi Arabia where key USGC partner companies are buying (our) corn at an even higher rate than last year," Cary Sifferath, the regional director of USGC, said. The trend could engender the biggest US market share in the kingdom in 15 years, with Saudi Arabia's overall corn imports to rise and "most likely double in size by 2016 as local dairy and poultry sectors continue to grow and changes in the water policy take effect," Sifferath added.


As of May 28, accumulated exports and outstanding sales of US corn for the region reached more than 2.743 million tonnes in the current marketing year, UkrAgroConsult reported. The volume is able to fulfill another year of huge deliveries to the region despite being slightly lesser than 2014.