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Timing Right for US Sorghum Exports to Asia

by 5m Editor
1 November 2010, at 8:18a.m.

INDONESIA & VIET NAM - End-users and feed millers in Indonesia and Viet Nam are quickly learning the benefits of utilising US sorghum in their animal feed rations.

Working to introduce US sorghum as an alternative feed ingredient, Alvaro Cordero, US Grains Council manager of international operations, and Dr. Joe Hancock of Kansas State University, traveled to Indonesia and Viet Nam this week to promote US sorghum as a viable feed ingredient for use in poultry and swine rations. Currently, the use of sorghum by the countries’ feed millers has been practically nonexistent.

“The addition of sorghum to the repertoire of feed ingredients used would be highly beneficial to the region as sorghum currently has a zero per cent import tariff in Indonesia and a 5 per cent tariff in Viet Nam,” Mr Cordero said.

Seminars and workshops funded in part by the United Sorghum Checkoff Programme enabled Cordero and Dr. Hancock to present the latest updates regarding the nutritional value of sorghum and demonstrate its competitiveness in feed formulations.

Indonesia’s meat production is dominated by its large poultry sector, which accounts for 75 per cent of total feed demand. Indonesian poultry consumption has been growing 6 per cent annually on the back of steady economic growth and increase in purchasing power among consumers. Feed production has also been growing alongside feed demand at an estimated rate of 7 per cent per year. These fundamentals add to the growing prospect of Indonesia as a consistent importer of US feed grains, such as sorghum.

Viet Nam is also a growing market for US sorghum and corn as local and regional corn crops are of poor quality, according to Mr Cordero. “While the import tariff for US yellow corn and sorghum is 5 per cent, local corn is priced relatively high at $300 per metric ton. Import price for US corn and sorghum is around $315 per ton CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight). As Viet Nam continues to develop, people will pay the extra price for a better quality product.”