Recently at the Joint Commodities Conference, Erick Erickson, Director of Global Strategies for the US Grains Council used the opportunity to speak to producers on what the US Grains Council does for them, as well as some future plans:
“We bring US agriculture to the world and the world to US agriculture. All of these crops are part of a global market and we have to understand it and be active in it.
The competition for grain business in exports has changed a lot in a short period of time. The last ten years, Brazil has doubled its corn production and the Ukraine has increased more than that. These are countries that have a large amount of land mass that is suitable for crop production so its certain that they will be around for a long time. It’s a new competitive environment that we are in.
Its been a five year trend that US exports are declining. We peaked out in 2008 and we have seen declines partly because of the rise in competition due to high prices, and partly because we had three years of declining production here and the ethanol mandate.
I think there is a strong foundation of ethanol demand independent of RFS. I see corn use for ethanol is stable at this point. We may find some export channels for ethanol.
China is just so big and their potential is so great that we would be foolish to walk away, even though we have had a sequence of frustrations and we don’t necessarily understand what they are doing. They will be important and we need to understand that. But we cant keep all of our eggs in the China Basket.”
(Source – http://www.sfntoday.com/audio/default.aspx?programID=3&audioID=12241)