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Ghanaian Poultry Farmers Like Yellow Corn

by 5m Editor
12 June 2009, at 8:57am

GHANA - Yellow maize in being imported from the US to meet the demand from the poultry industry. Supplies of home-grown and Argentinean maize have been hit by bad weather.

Ghana has been a relatively emerging economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to USDA, providing an entry point for imported US products for the West African sub-region of about 250 million people.

US Grains Council reports that this self-sufficient corn-producing country's domestic crop has been hindered over the last few years due to severe flooding and new policies put forth by the United Nations (UN). The UN has set forth these policies to encourage its regional World Food Program to seek commodities within its region before turning to imports. These two factors have caused the price of the domestic crop to skyrocket, reaching almost $370 per metric ton, roughly $9.30 per bushel.

US Grains Council Senior Director of International Operations for Rest of the World, Chris Corry, recently travelled to Ghana to assess the potential for US feed grains and related co-products to penetrate the market.

"Today, US corn is selling for around $5.00 free on board Gulf a bushel. Even adding the cost of freight, the United States could be selling corn to Ghana for under $7.00 a bushel," said Mr Corry.

Ghana's poultry industry utilises roughly 260,000 metric tons (10.2 million bushels) of corn annually. It was most recently buying yellow corn from Argentina but as the Argentinean supply diminishes due to severe drought, Ghana will seek elsewhere for its feed needs, putting the United States into position to becoming its lead feed grains supplier.

"Ghana's poultry producers like using yellow corn (Ghana produces mainly white corn). They currently have to insert artificial pigment in the feed in order for the yolks to produce a more yellow colour. Feeding the birds yellow corn makes the yolks more yellow naturally, saving them significant input costs," said Mr Corry.

One of Ghana's two major importers expressed interest in obtaining additional information and a sample of US sorghum and distiller's dried grains with solubles. "There is huge opportunity for the annual sale of US feed grains and co-products to Ghana.

The Council is working to connect Ghana importers with US suppliers and provide them with the best technical consultations available to help facilitate this trade," said Mr Corry.