After Two-Year Hiatus, Colombian Importer Buys U.S. Corn

A large Colombian importer recently made its first purchase of U.S. corn in more than two years. With the guidance of the U.S. Grains Council - the importer networked with grains exporters in Texas, Alabama and Louisiana - resulting in the purchase of more than 787-thousand bushels of U.S. corn. Because the importer is the largest animal feed manufacturer in Colombia - the National Corn Growers Association says the relationship could lead to an important increase in U.S. corn exports to the country.

U.S. corn imports accounted for 80-percent of the Colombian corn market in 2008 - but U.S. corn accounted for only 21-percent of the market by 2011. NCGA says the delay in ratification of the U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement contributed to the decline in U.S. market share. But the FTA was ratified by the U.S. Congress in late 2011 - and now NCGA says the Colombian importer can return to purchasing U.S. corn without paying tariffs that were in place before the FTA's implementation. As implementation continues - NCGA expects more stories of increased market access benefitting U.S. corn farmers will arise.

According to NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman - the purchase illustrates why NCGA's work in promoting trade agreements benefits U.S. corn farmers and the effectiveness of the group's work in collaboration with the U.S. Grains Council. Together - he says NCGA and USGC can affect real change by promoting policies that open markets and building the relationships that capitalize on said policies. Zimmerman says the impact of this work on corn demand has concrete benefits for farmers.

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