Lindsay Mitchell

Dec 16, 2014  |  Today's News

You’ve harvested a record yield in 2014 and now IL Corn is helping you find markets in South America for all that grain.


Colombia is the second largest corn importer in the Latin American region.   Colombia is a country in which the United States traditionally captured more than 80 percent of the market, though there recently had been an erosion in U.S. market share due to unfavorable tariff treatment. This year Colombian buyers return to purchasing U.S. corn, driven by price and advantages from the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA).


This market offers significant opportunities for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and corn co-products, a fact that captured the immediate attention of a group of farmers in this region with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).


“The FTA created an opportunity for increased sales of U.S. coarse grains and co-products to Colombia,” said Lyndsey Erb-Sharkey, USGC director of industry relations.


“In fact, Colombia importers ran through the 2.4 million metric tons (94.5 million bushels) tariff rate quota (TRQ) in June, which created congestion at the ports. 


“Regaining U.S. corn market share was a key priority for the Council in 2014, and maintaining that market share will be important in 2015. Having USGC members see this success firsthand is key to expanding their awareness of how new trade opportunities and trade policy impact not only the global grain trade but their work as well.” 


Brazil, an agricultural powerhouse that faces many challenges with infrastructure was a second stop for the farmers.  Understanding the current reality and the future prospects of Brazil’s agricultural production is vital for U.S. farmers hoping to compete in the world marketplace.


 “Having an understanding of world markets is a very important part of being a leader in Illinois agriculture,” said Bill Long, ICMB Industrial Committee Chair.  “As I learned more about these regions, I understood more about the challenges, opportunities and competition U.S. grains face in the international marketplace.”