U.S. Soy Grower Leader Attends International Grains Council Events in London

By - Monday, July 2, 2018

USSEC chairman and United Soybean Board (USB) director Derek Haigwood of Newport, Arkansas participated in two recent events hosted by the International Grains Council (IGC) in London, United Kingdom.

Chairman Haigwood and Eugene Philhower, USSEC Consultant – Northern Europe, joined the official U.S. government delegation to the 47th Session of the International Grains Council as private sector advisors, along with representatives from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). The bi-annual Council sessions allow for the formal exchange of information on the global grain market conditions; the opportunity to discuss current and prospective grain market developments; and monitor changes in national policies and their market implications. Attendance is limited to government delegations as well as related international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Chairman Haigwood also attended the 27th IGC International Grains Conference, which took place on June 19 and 20 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in London. The event was a unique opportunity for gaining invaluable market insights and networking with global industry professionals. The conference brought together more than 300 participants from across the global grains and oilseeds supply chain, spanning producers, exporters, traders, brokers, processors, trade associations, inspection services, shipping companies, and policymakers.

The speakers provided their perspectives on a range of key topics, notably prospects for global grains and oilseeds supplies – and their potential market impact – including the latest developments in Russia, China, and Brazil. Other sessions addressed the role of innovative new technologies for crop monitoring, robotic farming, and storage, as well as the primary infrastructure challenges facing the world’s grains and oilseeds economies against the backdrop of expanding world trade flows. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson provided the U.S. perspective and outlook on the current global market conditions.

For the first time, the IGC added a second day and organized three commodity workshops where stakeholders had the opportunity to share views and engage in direct discussion with market experts. The Grains workshop was sponsored by the International Grade Trade Coalition (IGTC) and chaired by Gary Martin of the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) and current IGTC chair. This session provided an examination of technical barriers to trade with presentations by the Eastern Africa Grain Council and WTO. The oilseeds session included a presentation on the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) process by Bill George from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The third session discussed the challenges for sustainable rice production.

IGC is an intergovernmental organization that seeks to further international cooperation in grains trade; promote expansion, openness and fairness in the grains sector; and contribute to grain market stability and to enhance world food security. These objectives are achieved by improving market transparency through information sharing, analysis, and consultation on market and policy developments. Global grain, rice, and oilseeds market conditions are monitored on a daily basis, through circulation of daily reports and maintaining web-based information services.