The United States continues to export significant quantities of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), according to a new report from U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service. Demand for DDGS, a co-products of corn ethanol production and a competitive feed ingredient in the U.S. and elsewhere, has been driven by its use as both a protein and energy source in feed rations.
China accounted for nearly half of U.S. exports in 2014/15 (Oct-Sep) but roughly one-quarter this past year. With robust foreign demand beyond China, however, U.S. exports have diversified. USDA said exports to other countries have expanded as a result of competitive prices relative to substitutes like soybean meal. In Southeast Asia, for example, USDA said it appears that large quantities of rice unfit for human consumption have increased the demand for a protein source.
“Old rice can be mixed with DDGS to help produce a balanced, cost effective feed ration. Compared to the preceding year, exports to Vietnam increased 74% while shipments to Thailand increased 62%,” the report said.
Outside of Southeast Asia, exports to Mexico and South Korea have increased each year since 2012/13, USDA noted. “As DDGS prices trend downward and soybean meal prices remain relatively higher, DDGS exports have become more competitive.”