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U.S. corn: Valuable commodity in the Middle East, North Africa

Staff writer |
Well into the 2014/2015 marketing year, customers are still finding strong value in purchasing from the United States as a high-quality and competitively-priced crop attracts attention around the globe, including in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

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The MENA region has seen strong sales and shipments of U.S. corn to key U.S. Grains Council (USGC) contacts and major corn importers and end-users in the region this year.

“We experienced a strong pace of U.S. corn sales into the MENA region early in 2015,” said USGC Regional Director of the Middle East and Africa Cary Sifferath.

“While strong competition from Ukraine and Argentina slowed U.S. corn sales a bit in April, reports indicate that we will see U.S. corn shipments to the MENA region pick up again in June and July.

“We are especially seeing strong U.S. corn sales to Saudi Arabia where key USGC partner companies are buying U.S. corn at even a higher rate than last year. This was the highest U.S. market share in Saudi Arabia in 15 years.

"We expect to see Saudi’s total corn imports increase and most likely double in size by 2016 as their dairy and poultry sectors continue to grow and the Saudi government’s water policy changes begin to take effect.”

As of May 28, the region’s accumulated exports and outstanding sales totaled more than 2.743 million metric tons (108 million bushels) of U.S. corn this marketing year. While this is slightly less than the previous year, it is still on track for another year of large exports to the region.

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