Mexico has much potential to be tapped for US DDGS imports
Mexico the top buyer for US distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is likely to remain so for the next year and has the potential to increase its imports more than five-fold from last year's levels, a grain industry figure said.
Mexico was by far the largest importer at 708,000 tonnes in the 2007 calendar year, compared to second-placed Canada, which imported 317,580 tonnes.
Furthermore, in the first eight months of 2008, Mexico has already imported nearly the whole amount it did for the entire year last year.
Still, the country is nowhere near the maximum utilisation of the product, according to Julio Hernandez, US Grains Council director in Mexico and Central America, who presented at the Council's International Distillers Grains Conference (IDGC) in Indianapolis.
In fact, Mexico has the potential to import as much as 4 million tonnes, or more than five times it did for 2007, he said.
Although the potential is there, the current financial crisis would soon slow growth of Mexico's livestock and poultry industries. He said however, that this would be temporary.
Poultry, the biggest feed consuming sector, has seen an increase in broiler capacity in the last three years and a steady continuation of this trend is anticipated.
Hernandez calculates Mexico's poultry sector would eventually import 1.1 million tonnes of DDGS, with beef importing 1 million tonnes, dairy 890,000 tonnes and swine 788,000 tonnes.
Furthermore, the Council will also explore promoting distiller's grains beyond the livestock and poultry industries to aquaculture and pet food for example.
The Council is currently conducting a study to better understand these businesses, he said.