August 23, 2008
USGC probes Vietnam's potential for corn, DDGS exports
The US Grains Council (USGC) has formed a Corn Mission to investigate Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan's market potential for US grains and co-products.
Vietnam was the first stop, with the team finding distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to have potential in the country's aquaculture industry.
Vietnamese aquaculture may require as much as 200 million tonnes of DDGS in the future, according to Mike Callahan, USGC director of international operations - Asia.
However, the USGC has to work on developing the full potential of the projected demand, as catfish farmers believe that adding DDGS to fish rations could turn catfish flesh to yellow - a serious problem as a significant premium is paid for white flesh.
The USGC has conducted tilapia feeding trials with DDGS inclusion rates of up to 15 percent with no yellowing, but the results will not quickly convince local skeptics.
The results is more likely to convince those directly involved with the project than other farmers and feed millers, said Adel Yusupov, director of USGC's Southeast Asia office.
USGC plans to conduct DDGS feeding trials with catfish in the near future.
Another challenge to increase shipments of US corn and DDGS was the lack of available credit. For that, the USGC is working with the USDA to explore the possibilities of launching a regional programme that would allow for government guaranteed financing.