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Illinois’ corn trade workshops feature international flavor
Illinois Correspondent
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A series of workshops offered through the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) and the state’s corn checkoff program will bring together corn sellers from Illinois, Nebraska and Iowa and corn buyers from Mexico.

Designed to bolster trade relations, the workshops, called Developing Relations with Mexican Buyers, will begin in Guadalajara, Mexico on June 18 before regrouping in Chicago later in the same week.

“The objective of these workshops is to provide corn suppliers - specifically those in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska - with the education and tools that will enable them to facilitate their own shipments of corn to Mexico,” said Tim Seifert, ICMB director and a farmer from Auburn. “It will also give Mexican corn buyers more information on how to purchase corn from U.S. suppliers. It’s a great opportunity for our regional suppliers to build relationships with buyers in Mexico.”

Major Mexican grain importers are expected to participate in the workshops along with grain merchandisers from cooperatives and independent grain elevators in the three Midwest states.

Phil Thornton, ICMB value-enhanced project director, said the opportunities for future growth in U.S. corn sales to Mexican importers are increasing.

“Changes in the tariff rate quotas under NAFTA are really going to open up the Mexican market over the next few years. Mexico is a vitally important market for (Midwest) corn producers. This project is going to open the doors for expanded opportunities in corn exports to Mexico,” Thornton said.

Topics of discussion for the workshops include border issues, the Mexican economy, contracts, grading, financing, shipping procedures and distillers grains. While in Chicago, participants will have an opportunity to visit the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Nebraska and Iowa’s corn checkoff programs are helping to fund the event along with a grant from the USDA’s Emerging Markets Program.

For more information on the workshops, contact Phil Thornton of the ICMB at 309-827-0912.

This farm news was published in the June 14, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.