Reports from Europe continue to look grim for the EU feed grain industry. Chris Corry, U.S. Grains Council senior director of international operations, said he expects Europe will need 17 to 18 million metric tons of feed grains next year due to natural calamities. "Due to biotechnology restrictions and increasing world wheat demand, the European Union's (EU) trade industry is turning to U.S. sorghum," Corry said. The first shipment of U.S. sorghum arrived in France Tuesday consisting of 3,000 metric tons (118,104 bushels). Another shipment of 12,000 tons (472,416 bushels) is scheduled for arrival on Sunday, Oct. 7 from the United States. A total 300,000 tons (11.8 million bushels) of U.S. sorghum has been purchased with deliveries scheduled through February.
Although Europe does not allow grains derived from many genetically enhance seeds, the corn market will also benefit from the exchange. "The sorghum being shipped to Europe is usually destined for Mexico, so that means Mexico will be buying more U.S. corn in 2008," he notes.
Corry said the Council will be conducting what he referred to as a "road show" in January. A nutritionist and a feed mill expert will travel across the EU holding a series of workshops. "January will be perfect timing, because livestock operators will have had a chance to use sorghum in their rations and will be prepared to ask questions in order to have greater success with sorghum as a feed grain," said Corry. "Our goal here is to capitalize on this opportunity to make Europe a consistent buyer of sorghum beyond this crisis situation."