U.S. Grain Council officials and producers from Kansas, Nebraska and Texas returned from a trade mission to Europe this week to assess the short- and long-term marketing prospects of exporting sorghum to the Europe Union.
"Last year the European market surpassed Mexico in becoming sorghum's largest export market with the EU purchasing nearly 75% of our sorghum exports," says Troy Skarke, sorghum sector representative to the USGC. "This correlates to almost 4.5 million tons of U.S. sorghum finding new uses."
Over 50% of U.S. sorghum is shipped overseas and with the development of the European market, sorghum went from having six export markets to having 16 export markets last year. The mission team explored possible new and increased markets in both northern and southern Europe and discovered that Germany will be a first time buyer of U.S. sorghum this year. Also Spain, which has been a customer for several years, is likely to increase imports for their ethanol production facilities.
"We were able to gain market intelligence based on various constraints and false perceptions of using sorghum," Skarke says. "Along with many more opportunities to grow the overall consumption of sorghum in the EU marketplace for both future long-term and short-term exports."