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U.S. distiller's grains sales explode in Japan

Agriculture.com Staff 01/25/2008 @ 1:15pm

U.S. exports of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are creating milestones in the Japanese market as sales last year reached over 98,000 metric tons in the first eleven months of 2007. The soaring number of U.S. DDGS imports by Japan can be attributed to rising feed prices, says Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) senior director in Tokyo.

"The Japanese feed and livestock industry, like many other countries today, is looking for alternative feed ingredients as the price of corn, sorghum, barley, wheat and soybeans increase," he says.

He notes that U.S. DDGS imports to Japan have grown rapidly over the years. In 2004, U.S. DDGS imports were recorded at 3,074 tons and the year before that, they were non-existant. However, despite the current soaring sales, it is important to note that DDGS comprises only a fraction of Japan’s total feed ingredients.

"If we look at Japan's total livestock feed market of 24 million metric tons, 98,000 tons of DDGS is only 0.40% of the country's entire feed ingredients," Sifferath says. "So, yes it is a great success story to go from 0 tons of DDGS in 2003/04 to over 100,000 tons in 2007, but it is still only a minor portion of Japan's total feed ingredients."

He adds USGC has been active in introducing the proper use of DDGS in dairy, layer, swine and now broiler rations in Japan. He says the efforts have helped open the doors for U.S. DDGS to enter the Japanese market.

Sifferath points to a successful Council-organized DDGS feeding trial in broilers, which was conducted last year as a good example of USGC activities aimed to educate Japanese buyers on the benefits of U.S. DDGS.

U.S. exports of distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are creating milestones in the Japanese market as sales last year reached over 98,000 metric tons in the first eleven months of 2007. The soaring number of U.S. DDGS imports by Japan can be attributed to rising feed prices, says Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) senior director in Tokyo.

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