Since Russia issued a grain export ban last month, its customers have been scrambling for new suppliers and similar pricing. The problem is for some feed grains buyers, alternatives face levies. Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council senior director Mediterranean and Africa, says - Irish feed millers, for example, approached the European Commission seeking relief with one option being the suspension of a levy on sorghum.
This request caught the attention of the Sorghum Checkoff and U.S. Grains Council which looked closer at the U.S. – EU trade relationship. The two organizations found that the European Union Levy Board calculates their import levy on sorghum based on pricing data for U.S. barley shipped out of Duluth, Minnesota. Sorghum Checkoff board director Bill Kubecka, suggested - it may make the levy more reliable if it were based on a U.S. Gulf corn benchmark.
Cary Sifferath, U.S. Grains Council senior director Mediterranean and Africa says – we hope this will help lead to a permanent change in how the levy is calculated. If the EU needs sorghum two months from now, two years from now or whenever, it will be helpful for European grain importers and feed manufacturers if the levy is calculated more effectively.