United States Hosts 59th International Grains Council Session and 2024 Grains Forum

  |   Feature

As current Chair of the International Grains Council (IGC), the United States hosted the 59th International Grains Council Session and 2024 Grains Forum in New Orleans, Louisiana this week. The IGC discusses current and prospective world grain market developments, and monitors changes in national grain policies and their market implications. IGC provides critical grain and oilseed market information and analysis to its members, promoting transparency and stability in international trade. 

The event kicked off with a Mississippi river tour sponsored by the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA), ending at Cargill’s Westwego export terminal. IGC and the United States then hosted the 2024 Grains Forum “Biofuels market outlook and grains market development,” which assessed the current situation of the global biofuels sector and implications of the further developing energy industry will be for food and feed sectors. FAS Administrator Daniel B. Whitley kicked off the session. He was joined by the Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, who highlighted how agricultural sectors can take advantage of the growing global demand for energy by embracing new technologies and innovations in biofuel development.  

The forum also included numerous roundtable discussions on topics such as opportunities for biofuel development in global markets, grain and oilseed market outlooks and biofuel perspectives, the impact of biofuels uses on grains trade, and long-term prospects for biofuel development. Throughout the meetings, the U.S. delegates were able to showcase the importance of climate-smart agriculture in future opportunities for biofuels markets. 

To wrap up the event, government delegations and the IGC Secretariat participated in the 59th International Grains Council Session. Members discussed the market situation and latest trade policy developments and the IGC annual work program. Delegates also had an opportunity to discuss some of the key issues with other international organizations, including World Trade Organization and the International Grain Trade Coalition. 

Hosted by the United States, the IGC Session and Forum had a robust list of participants, including representatives from the governments of Algeria, Australia, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, the European Union, France, India, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Norway, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. They were joined by representatives from the World Trade Organization and the International Grain Trade Coalition, as well as industry representatives from AXS Marine, Bayer, Blue Water Shipping, Bunge, Cargill, CHS, Louis Dreyfus, NAEGA, Russell Marine Group, Southport Agencies, U.S. Soybean Export Council, United Grain, and Viserion Grain. Attendees were also joined by the Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, and the Executive Director of the Southern United States Trade Association.