Tunisia has placed its first order for U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles, a co-product of ethanol production, according to the U.S. Grains Council. Poulina S.A., Tunisia’s largest grain importer, ordered 4,700 metric tons of DDGS, with an approximate FOB value of $940,000, scheduled to arrive Feb. 20.

Because of limited experience with grain co-products, the Tunisian feed industry had been wary of DDGS, according to Kurt Shultz, USGC director of Mediterranean and Africa, “but Council-organized workshops have helped to alleviate their skepticism.”

In March 2006, the Council imported 48 tons of U.S. DDGS through the USDA’s Quality Samples Program. The DDGS was used in dairy feeding trials to familiarize Tunisian feed millers and customers with this new product.

As a result of the successful feeding trials, the Tunisian government removed the 20 percent import duty on DDGS in January 2007, and the Council followed up with several DDGS promotion activities.

“We invited Tunisian users to participate in meetings with Moroccan feed millers and nutritionists who have been using DDGS,” Shultz said. “And as a result of all our efforts Poulina S.A. was convinced to make its first purchase this week.”

Shultz said the Council will be monitoring and providing assistance to Poulina S.A. to ensure that it has a successful experience with DDGS.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com