USSEC Hosts EU/MENA Buyers on Tour of Grain Export Terminals In The Gulf, U.S. Shipping Infrastructure
While the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange formed the core of the visit of some 78 customers from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, their trip to the U.S. was extended by several days so that they could acquaint themselves with the U.S. grain marketing and shipping system. The group, accompanied by grower leaders and USSEC staff, traveled to Louisiana and met with Blue Water Shipping Group, who provided the customers with an overview of U.S. corn and soybean production, moving the commodities from inland locations down the Mississippi River and its tributaries to export terminals in New Orleans, and/or transportation by rail and/or road to the Pacific Northwest or East Coast export facilities.
This presentation and discussions focusing on the U.S. grain shipping system, proven to be the most reliable, efficient, and cost-effective, set the stage for USSEC’s international partners to tour the grain export terminals located on the Mississippi River in Louisiana by boat. The excellent weather allowed the group to travel in two motor boats to see the barges coming down the Mississippi River, a few grain export terminals unloading the barges, foreign cargo vessels being loaded with various commodities produced in the U.S., and these vessels setting off for overseas export markets.
This additional time spent in the U.S. was valuable for the EU/MENA buyers, because it supplemented theoretical knowledge gathered at the 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange and relationships established at the accompanying trade show with some practical experience.
Visiting the city of New Orleans was also a very special social and cultural experience for USSEC’s partners operating in EU/MENA region.
The Northeast European participants were extremely happy with the Louisiana portion of the team travel project and Wojciech Zarzycki, Chief Purchasing Officer of DeHeus (second largest feed compounder in Poland), concluded that the study tour of grain export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico was a very important professional experience to him, which he especially enjoyed doing by boat.