The U.S.-Japan trade agreement signed by President Donald Trump this week “will solidify our longstanding partnership for the future and create a platform for growth into new sales and new sectors, including the potential for sales of U.S. ethanol,” according to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC)
Japan is one of the largest and most loyal U.S. corn customers, having bought more than $2 billion of U.S. corn in the most recent marketing year. It is an important market for food and feed barley and sorghum. And as a country looking to improve the environmental impact of its fuel, it is an important future market for U.S. ethanol products.
USGC chairman Darren Armstrong, a farmer from North Carolina, was on a grower panel at the BASF Agricultural Solutions Media Event this week and he talked about the impact that trade negotiations have had on farmers over the past two years, but said the Japan agreement and USMCA are bright spots in the picture, and so is ethanol.
“There are so many new markets that we can move ethanol in that would really use up a lot of corn, and that’s what we’re after,” said Armstrong.
This interview with Armstrong was done the day before the Japan deal was signed, but he said they were looking forward to it because Japan has been a good customer in the past and they were hoping to increase ethanol exports under the agreement.Interview with USGC chair and NC farmer Darren Armstrong