Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Guatemala Hosts U.S. Grains Council Meeting

The current global economic situation is causing a great deal of uncertainty in U.S. agriculture, from ethanol to exports.

U.S. Grains Council international directors and consultants presented to more than 200 attendees at the Council’s 6th International Marketing Conference and 49th Annual Membership Meeting in Guatemala City, Guatemala about the state of the economy in their respective countries as well as the potential for U.S. grains in those markets.

The purchasing power of consumers is weakening, thus pushing the consumption of meat, milk and eggs down in many countries such as Mexico, Japan, Korea and China.

However, less developed countries like Morocco, Iraq and Turkey are seeing a more stable economic situation, which may create expanded opportunities for U.S. farmers.

“We see very stable demand for U.S. grains in 2009,” said Kurt Shultz, USGC director in the Mediterranean and Africa.

“Tourism is the key, currently. If Europeans stop spending tourism dollars in North Africa, we may start seeing the impact of the global economic crisis.

"As of yet, the impact has been minimal and the economy is very stable.

"This is good news for U.S. producers.”

--Grainnet

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