After two years of marketing efforts Jordan decided as a first country in the Middle East to buy US DDGS. Last month, the first commercial shipment to Jordan arrived in Aqaba.
Historically, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) has been an unknown product throughout Jordan and the Middle East.
Promotion of DDGS in the Middle East has two significant obstacles. Ethanol has been viewed with suspicion as a possible competitor to Middle Eastern oil and DDGS is seen as an offshoot of the forbidden alcohol trade.
However, two years of marketing efforts by US grain farmers, bolstered by Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program funds, have raised the positive profile of DDGS in the region.
Among other promotional activities US Grains Council conducted a 60-day DDGS feeding trial with Hammoudeh, Jordan’s largest milk producer and poultry integrator.
The tests, which were the first of their kind in the Middle East, showed DDGS improved both milk production and cost savings on feed ingredients.
Following the trials, Bovine & Ovine—a regional dairy and agricultural publication written in Arabic and English—featured the Hammoudeh feed trial and provided information on the benefits of making DDGS a major part of daily feed rations.
As word of the benefits of DDGS spread throughout the region, importers and end-users clamoured to see DDGS included on import subsidy lists, a promising sign for exports to the region.
Through April, 2011, exports of US DDGS to the Middle East region have grown to 107,000 tonnes, a 54% rise over last year. Furthermore, these exports were valued at over $23 million.
The Council believes that the Middle East region has the potential to import upwards of 2 million tonnes of DDGS per year.