US sorghum sold to Morocco for the first time in six years

US Grains Council, Feb. 13 2006

U.S. Sorghum Sold to Morocco for the First Time in Six Years

Washington, DC (February 10)—U.S. sorghum has been sold to Morocco for the first time in six years, a testament that the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is working.

A Moroccan importer has completed an order for 25,000 metric tons of U.S. sorghum, which is set to arrive in Morocco in late March.

Implemented on January 1, the U.S. - Morocco FTA immediately removed a 35% duty on U.S. sorghum.

Under the agreement, U.S. corn is currently taxed at 17.5%.

Moroccan feed millers where first introduced to U.S. sorghum in 1997 through a U.S. Grains Council Quality Samples Program (QSP) resulting in 100,000 tons of U.S. sorghum exports to Morocco in 1998.

“Sorghum sales did not occur in the following years due to the imposition of a duty on sorghum,” said Chris Corry, senior director of international operations.

“We are extremely happy to announce that the doors to U.S. sorghum exports to Morocco have been opened again.”

While there are some users that are familiar with sorghum from 1998, the Council has started working with staff at newer feed mills to amiliarize them with U.S. sorghum and its uses in poultry feeds.

In addition to the obvious demand for sorghum in the poultry sector, the Council is working to move sorghum into ruminant rations.

In 2005, the Council used USDA funds to purchase two steamflakers that will be used by COPAG, a dairy cooperative, to steamflake sorghum for dairy rations in the Council-sponsored feedlot.

“The work that the Council has done over the years - from the QSP program in 1998 to the FTA negotiations and opening of a feedlot in 2005 - is all coming together to create this sale and hopefully many more in the future,” Corry added.

It is estimated Morocco could import up to 300,000 tons of U.S. sorghum in 2006.