News: Animal Utilization
An article co-written by USSEC consultant and professor of animal nutrition at the University of Illinois, Dr. Hans H. Stein, was published in early April in the Journal of Animal Science.
The article, “Chemical Composition and Amino Acid Digestibility of Soybean Meal Produced in the United States, China, Argentina, Brazil, or India,” written by Vanessa Lagos, Ph. D. student in the Stein Monogastric Nutrition Laboratory, and Dr. Stein, reported the results of a case study on the effects of origin of soybean meal on the digestibility of amino acids. The study, “Ileal Digestibility of Soybean Meal in Swine,” was funded by USSEC and the Indiana Soybean Alliance.
Dr. Stein concluded his study in July 2016 and discussed his methodology and results at the 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange. His team analyzed digestible, metabolizable energy by analyzing the feces and urine of pigs.
“The most expensive part of the diet is the energy,” Dr. Stein stated.
The study showed that U.S. soybean meal had more digestible amino acids than that of other origins, and that soybean meal from the U.S. has greater digestibility and less variability in composition and digestibility.
Please click here to listen to the presentation by Ms. Lagos at American Society of Animal Science from the home page of Dr. Stein’s lab. Also, you can see only the abstract and a table of standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids in soybean meal from different countries at this link.
To read the article in its entirety, please follow this link: Stein pig digestibility jas-95-4-1626 (1)
For more than two decades, the Polish Grain & Feed Chamber has been one of the most influential industry associations in Poland. The organization is also very active in Europe through its membership in the European Feed Industry Federation (FEFAC), the European grain industry lobby group (COCERAL), and, most recently, the European Commodities Exchange. The U.S. Soy industry has long worked with the Chamber on many issues, including channeling professional know-how to the Polish grain, feed, livestock and food industries.
On April 21, when the Chamber held its general assembly of members in Warsaw, USSEC brought Beat Spaeth, EuropaBio, director of Green Biotechnology, to speak to this audience on “The Present and Future of Biotechnology in Global & European Agriculture and Food Chain.” Mr. Spaeth explained the massive adoption of biotech crops in the world: in 2015, 18 million farmers in 28 countries planted biotech crops on 179.7 million hectares (approximately 444 million acres), which is just a marginal decline since 2014, despite furious attacks from opponents. “Could 18 million farmers be wrong about this new technology?” the speaker asked the Polish audience.
Speaking about the benefits that biotech crops and their derivatives offer to farmers and consumers, Mr. Spaeth highlighted the sustainability aspect of green biotechnology: production of more food on less land, reduced inputs use, reduced soil erosion, and lower CO2 emissions. The events that are in the public research institutions’ and the biotech industry’s pipeline will bring more benefits, such as resistance to new diseases, better insect and weed control, tolerance of drought and salty conditions, higher nitrogen use efficiency, better livestock feed efficiency and improved biofuel traits. The speaker stressed the consumer benefits, especially more healthy edible oils and enhanced nutritional value.
Commenting on the attitude to green biotechnology and regulatory practices in the EU, Mr. Spaeth pointed to the common hypocrisy at both Brussels’ and member states’ levels, namely stated support to innovation in agriculture and practiced expelling innovation by delaying authorization for imports, blocking applications for cultivation, and the sharp reduction of field trials. These actions cause the commercial biotech pipelines to focus not on Europe, but on other continents.
USSEC Technical Director – Northeast Europe Jerzy W. Kosieradzki thanked the Polish professional audience and the leaders of the Polish Grain & Feed Chamber for taking the lead in the local battle for extension of the moratorium on implementation of the Polish legal ban on GM feeds that was partially successful. The date of the ban’s implementation was set for January 1, 2019, not 2021, as the industry originally proposed.
USSEC organized two animal feed formulation training sessions in Tunis, Tunisia on April 18 and 19, in collaboration with the Tunisian National Veterinary School (ENMV) and the Scientific Poultry Veterinarian Association (SSTMVA).
Sirri Kayhan, USSEC Country Representative – Turkey and specialist in animal feed formulation, planned these events. The first day was organized at Sidi Thabet at ENMV and the audience was composed of graduate veterinary students and the staff of the nutrition department. The second day was held at the poultry association headquarters, with the presence of nutritionists from eight major feed companies. Mr. Kayhan gave a presentation on feed formulation and performed a practical training session based on real examples.
Dr. Jamel Rekhis, animal nutrition professor and head of LCAAB, National Reference Nutrition Laboratory, also participated by giving a presentation on the importance of soy products in animal nutrition.
Because of the high level of the event, major feed groups were present at this training. After the event, the participants expressed their satisfaction about the scientific level of the speakers and the organization of the event.
Before the training session, Mr. Kayhan had the opportunity to visit two plants with Dr. Riadh Karma, USSEC Country Representative – Tunisia: NUTRIMIX, the largest feed mill in the country, and Green Label Oil (GLO), a new extrusion plant recently build by Poulina Group Holding.
The extrusion plant is a good acquisition for the Poulina Group Holding to satisfy its needs in full fat soybean meal, soybean oil, and express soymeal. The total nominal capacity of this extrusion unit should be around 17,000 metric tons (MT) of beans per month (around 200,000 MT per year). The storage capacity for soybeans will be around 30,000 MT in metal silos.
USSEC consultant Dr. Gary Butcher, a professor of at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, traveled to Egypt from April 8 – 13. His program, which was coordinated by USSEC – Middle East/North African (MENA), provided an opportunity to meet with key technical personnel in the Egyptian poultry industry who had participated in an intensive USSEC training program at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2016.
During the week in Egypt, Dr. Butcher visited three major poultry integrators and spoke at the Reference Laboratory for Poultry Diseases in Cairo. Poultry diseases in Egypt are causing severe losses and are limiting the ability to expand production, as costs of production are increased and the ability to export are adversely affected. Dr. Butcher advised the poultry industry on vaccination programming, interpretation of diagnostic testing, and plans of action for controlling devastating diseases such as H5 and H9 Avian Influenza, Genotype 7 Newcastle disease, and endemic Mycoplasma infections.
Improved production and expansion of the poultry industry in Egypt will increase demand for soybean and soybean products in Egypt and the Middle East.
USSEC – Middle East/North Africa (MENA) organized the 3rd Regional Dairy Nutrition Conference, held at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar in Dead Sea, Jordan from April 8 – 11.
United Soybean Board (USB) director Jacob Parker of North Carolina and American Soybean Board (ASA) director Dave Poppens of South Dakota traveled to Jordan for this event and spoke to attendees about their experiences as U.S. farmers and about the benefits of U.S. Soy. Orestes Vasquez, Senior Agricultural Attaché, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), U.S. Embassy – Cairo, gave the opening welcome and Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA also welcomed participants to the conference.
The program included: Export Logistics from USA to the Middle East Region; Cow Environment and Comfort Management (mitigation of heat stress with limited resources); Evaluation and Application of Bypass Protein in Dairy Rations; Feeding the Heat Stressed Dairy Cow – Managing the Total Mix Ration (TMR); TMR Formulation for Dairy Cows – The Cost Effect of Bypass Soy to Dairy Diets; Calf Nutrition and its Impact on Later Performance; and A Partnership – The U.S. Soy Total Quality Experience.
65 participants from the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey participated in the conference. Participants included major dairy producers and feed millers in the region.
The activity ended with a field visit led by Frank Delfino of Delfino Nutrition and Management, Inc. to one of the most advanced dairy farms in the region.
Feedback from conference speakers was very positive.
“The 3rd Regional Dairy Nutrition Conference, put together by USSEC – MENA, was a well-organized educational event with a good range of presentation topics and key individuals associated with the dairy industry from the Middle East and North Africa among the attendees,” said Dave Gast, Head Nutritionist, AGP. “The conference provided an excellent opportunity to meet with current customers as well develop new business relationships with prospects for U.S. soybean products. The large attendance at this conference speaks well for the quality of the conference and the value of the social and educational opportunities provided to those in attendance. Looking forward to more great conferences.”
Mr. Delfino stated, “The first day of the conference had very engaged MENA participants with excellent questions and discussion both during and after presentations. The ‘one on one’ meetings lasted well after presentations and into the evening. Could not have been a better venue.”
“Everything ran very smoothly and the attendees chosen, a total of 65 people from 11 countries, was a great mix of cultures and buyers,” said Kevin Sinnott, president of Fornazor International. “We have met many buyers we did not know before the seminar and look forward to following up with all of them on potential business. All of the presenters were very informative.”
USSEC China co-sponsored the 2017 Hebei Feed Industry Development Summit held on March 18 and 19. Approximately one thousand representatives from China’s feed mills, integrators and animal production farms participated in the event.
During the summit, Paul Burke, USSEC Regional Director -North Asia, delivered a presentation on soybean supply and demand, and the advantages and sustainability of U.S. Soy. Soybean customers expressed much interest and asked questions on the global soybean price trends, and the safety of GMO products, among other topics.
Dr. Richard Han, USSEC Technical Director – Animal Utilization (AU), China; Yantian Zeng, USSEC Marketing Program Manager; and Sunny Zhang, USSEC AU Program Manager, also attended this summit, helping promote U.S. Soy and communicating with customers at the USSEC booth.
In an effort to assist continuous knowledge and skills improvement for U.S. Soy customers from the European countries of Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, USSEC organized an on-site training at two relevant integrated companies, Copiso Coop and DAGU Feed Mill, located near Madrid, Spain.
USSEC consultant Dr. Mateos Gonzalo coordinated the event, which offered participants a broader view of the manufacturing, quality standards, and good practices in Spain during the last week of March. Spain is the second largest feed compound producer in the EU 27, with an annual production of 31 million tons of compound feed and is also one of the top U.S. Soy customers in the region.
The on-site feed mill training has important merits, including unique learning opportunities for both participants and hosts. All participants had the chance to interact at a higher level and bring theoretical discussions and topics to commercial production situations, making topics of interest more tangible and easier to understand.
The first company visited by the team of USSEC trainees was Copiso Feed Mill in Valcobra, part of a fast-growing cooperative from the Soria area in Spain. Copiso offers fertilizers, grains drying, veterinary and transportation services, compound feed and other products to its members, as well as warehousing, swine insemination centers, and related services. The cooperative was founded 50 years ago and its organizational structure is an excellent model for the growing Eastern European agriculture.
DAGU Feed Mill was the second integrator to open its gates for the USSEC training. DAGU is a leader in the egg sector and one of the first operators in the egg export trade from Spain. The company has acquired experience over the last 50 years working in the poultry-farming sector, always maintaining a leadership position. The company has modern equipment and technologies in all production process points: raw materials reception, feed manufacturing, egg production, grading, packing, and processing. All the processes at DAGU, for both the production and marketing of the eggs and egg products are strictly controlled by their own laboratory, which has state of the art technology and complies with the strictest standards of control, thus offering our customers a top quality product.
The field visits at the Copiso Cooperative and Dagu Feed Mills were perfect opportunities for the participants to visit companies to exchange information about the current practices in raw materials quality control systems and feed additives usage in different European countries. Besides learning about the latest advances in raw materials quality, students had the opportunity to understand the Spanish experience in feed quality control under EU laws and regulations and near future challenges in feed additives use.
Learning from the experience of integrated companies from the Soria and Guadalajara areas was highly interesting. Spain is perhaps one of the most noteworthy markets from the point of view of industry organization. The business model of cooperatives and integrated companies has some particularities in Spain: poultry and pork meat producers are acting more like partners with feed manufacturers, meat processing, marketing, and distributors. Animal farmers receive all the feed, drugs, and vet services from the integrator, based on prices agreed between the two parties. This gives the freedom to feed manufacturers to adapt the feed formulation based on the raw materials availability and price in the market.
With eight ports across the Iberian Peninsula, Spain has significant advantages in importing feed ingredients and exporting meat. The country’s strategic location gives the feed and livestock industries the ability to reach any market from Europe and Asia.
A USSEC delegation composed of American Soybean Association (ASA) director Kevin Scott and United Soybean Board (USB) directors Jim Carroll and John Harrell participated in the 4th Poultry Roundtable for Maghreb’s feed industry recently held at Skhirat, Morocco, accompanied by Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – EU / Middle East North Africa (MENA). The USSEC event provided an excellent platform to discuss current issues in poultry feeding in Maghreb.
The grower leaders’ team and experts visited leading poultry and feed customers in Morocco to further increase awareness of U.S. Soy quality, reliability, and sustainability among feed and poultry producers. They highlighted their commitment in building strong trade relationships with their professional partners in the Moroccan feed industry and animal producers, especially poultry.
On April 3, the presidents of Moroccan Federation of Poultry Associations (FISA) and the Feed Manufacturers Association (AFAC) signed a certificate of recognition of U.S. Soy’s sustainability following the production protocol outlined in the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP). FISA and USSEC will partner to provide quality, sustainable, and reliable feed to the local industry.
In his speech, Mr. Babb briefly summarized years of partnership and explained U.S. soybeans’ sustainability and current interests.
USSEC continues to develop targeted promotional efforts to accompany the growth of the sector and to help differentiate U.S. soybean meal from others in the Moroccan market. Morocco‘s livestock sector and feed industries continue to grow and become professionally oriented, setting a good example for other North Africa markets. Over 500,000 tons of poultry feed and another half million tons were produced yearly over the last eight years.
The signature of the certificate was well received by the federation, which is very aware of the value and strength of the U.S. supply chain and the high value and quality of U.S. soybean meal.
Over 80 percent of the feed produced in Morocco is by mills that are members of AFAC.
A team of eight key customers from the Tunisian poultry and feed industry attended the 4th USSEC Maghreb Poultry Nutrition Roundtable, held in Skhirat in the Rabat area, Morocco on April 4 and 5.
United Soybean Board (USB) director Jim Carroll III, USB director John Harrell, and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Kevin Scott traveled to Morocco to participate in this event. USSEC consultant Dr. Riadh Karma escorted the Tunisian team.
The Tunisian team members viewed the event as a great success and said it provided an excellent opportunity for them to learn more about advanced poultry nutrition and flock nutrition management.
The participants from Tunisia appreciated being present among a large audience of people from neighboring countries to exchange experiences and do business. After the conference, all of them had, in addition to updated nutrition knowledge, a better idea about the sustainability of the soy production in the U.S.
Dr. Nabil Darwish, chairman of Egyptian Poultry Producers, spoke at the U.S. – Middle East/North African (MENA) Agribusiness Trade Mission in Cairo, Egypt on April 2. Below is the text of the speech that Dr. Darwish delivered to USSEC chairman Jim Miller, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, and representatives of the Egyptian soy industry.
“On behalf of the Egyptian Poultry Association, welcome again to Egypt and thanks to the great events and programs that have been organized by the USSEC team over the past few years.
We have found the events and programs very useful because of the following points:
- Gathered decision makers from around the world in the same field under one roof and gave us a chance to talk about the opportunities and challenges of our industries and listen to each other’s perspective and viewpoints
- Opportunity to meet potential customers and suppliers in the events and broaden our network which created many opportunities
- Opportunity to meet with the industry’s specialists and broaden our technical network, which helps in the improvement and advancement of our industry
- Tackle some of the important topics facing our industry like disease prevention, biosecurity, cost-efficient feed formulation, nutrition, and production efficiency
- Emphasize the importance of the quality of commodities in feed production; U.S.-origin soybeans improving diet quality and performance
- Discuss purchasing of raw material and the different purchasing approaches that can be done to decrease the feed cost
- Logistics handling and its importance in trade sustainability
- What to look at and what to look for to facilitate and influence purchasing decisions
- Appreciate technical services program to extruders & presses to make expelled soybean meal for poultry
- We found the events very well organized and the team was always helpful; we thank you very much for the great efforts that have been done and we look forward to attend future events.”
USSEC participated in the U.S. – Middle East/North Africa (MENA) Agribusiness Trade Mission that took place in Cairo, Egypt from April 2 – 6. Over 40 U.S. business representatives met with senior Egyptian government and private sector officials to discuss ways to expand agricultural trade between the United States and Egypt.
USSEC chairman and American Soybean Association (ASA) Jim Miller, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter, USSEC Acting Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Regional Lead Pam Helmsing, and USSEC Regional Consultant – MENA Mousa Wakileh traveled to Cairo and Alexandria to meet with soy industry leaders from Egyptian animal, aquaculture, feed and soy processing industries.
After the opening session on the first day, USSEC’s team participated in a soy industry roundtable meeting with 12 attendees, including the largest soybean crushing industry, feed millers, poultry producers, and aquaculture representatives in Cairo to review recent joint programs and to discuss opportunities for future collaboration. Along with feed formulation and the proper valuation of U.S. Soy amino acids’ profile, the group discussed ongoing poultry disease issues limiting profitability in the local industry. USSEC is sponsoring poultry disease training in Egypt and at the University of Florida with one of world’s leading experts and plans to continue the training in the coming years.
Alexandria is home to major soy industry activity in Egypt and meetings were held at two expanding facilities on day two. Alex Seeds showed its new crushing and soy oil bottling facility, which expands their crush facility to 5,000 tons per day, and Cargill displayed its crushing plant that is expanding to 6,000 tons per day.
A soy industry lunch to discuss the Egyptian market concluded the visit to the soy crushing plants. Lunch attendees included Mark Slupek, Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Deputy Administrator; Darrell Upshaw, Program Manager; Ron Verdonk, Regional Agricultural Minister Counselor; J. Bret Tate, Agricultural Attaché; and Ahmed Wally, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – FAS Agricultural Specialist; and two of the largest local traders and crushers.
A visit to the new office building of the Wadi Group was conducted to talk to CEO and president of Wadi Holdings Tony Freiji and his team about their business and their views on issues facing the industry in Egypt.
The visit to Egypt concluded with a soy industry dinner with 25 attendees, including Mr. Verdonk and the largest soybean crushers, feed millers, and poultry producers.
It is clear after speaking with mission participants and Egyptian industry representatives that there is optimism in the air and an expectation of even better days ahead. USSEC looks forward to a continued relationship and working together with the Egyptian animal, aquaculture, feed, and soy processing industries on various marketing initiatives and programs. Egypt has long been the largest market for U.S. Soy in the MENA region, and USSEC programs have supported strong growth in the Egyptian crushing, extrusion, poultry nutrition and diseases, dairy, and aquaculture industries.
USSEC conducted its 4th Poultry Roundtable for Maghreb’s Feed Industry on April 4 and 5 in Skhirat (Rabat area), Morocco. The conference, part of USSEC’s FY17 promotional program in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region, provided an excellent platform to discuss current issues in poultry feeding in Maghreb. Over 45 key customers from the feed and poultry industry attended the conference: 9 from Tunisia, 13 from Algeria and 24 from Morocco.
The program aimed to update feed mill owners and managers, nutritionists, integrators, traders, and others recent advances in nutrition and feeding of poultry, showing the advantages of U.S. soybean meal.
USSEC Regional Director – MENA Brent Babb highlighted the importance of Maghreb markets within MENA and globally. Morocco and Tunisia are the largest buyers of U.S. Soy products, which are the main U.S. agricultural value products in Maghreb, a leading export destination for U.S. Soy products.
USSEC and American Soybean (ASA) director Kevin Scott and United Soybean Board (USB) directors Jim Carroll and John Harrell visited leading poultry customers’ facilities in Morocco. Mr. Carroll and Mr. Scott presented their respective farming operations, U.S. Soy production, and showed the sustainability of their practices. They presented U.S. soybean farmer sustainability goals by 2025.
Dr. Rory Deverel, vice president of INTL FC Stone Ltd, covered global supply and demand of different feed commodities, market trends, and variation factors.
A presenter from each of the three markets updated attendees on poultry and feed industries in their respective markets and discussed various aspects of the soy business in the Maghreb region during the panel organized at the end of the roundtable conference. “B” to “B” sessions were then held with USSEC consultant experts.
The conference was followed by field visits to key customers’ facilities in feed and poultry industry. All customers visited were satisfied with the consistent quality of U.S. soybean meal and the reliability of the U.S. soybean value chain. These two main recognized advantages of U.S. Soy products are not found when soybean meal is sourced from other origins.
Team discussions at one-on-one meeting with Alf Al Mabrouk covered quality issues of U.S. soybean meal. At Alf Sahel, the largest mill in Morocco, a visit was organized to the new extrusion facility that was recently installed. Purchasing and logistics of soy products from the U.S. were discussed at Sofalim feed mill where the team highlighted the need for high quality feed and ingredients such as U.S. hipro meal to obtain top performance for the company turkey and broiler productions.
Although Morocco’s compound feed production declined to 3.75 million metric tons (MMT) in 2016 due to the avian influenza (AI) outbreak with 73 percent going to the poultry industry, poultry remains by far the main the largest user of soybean meal.
USSEC China led a delegation of twenty to participate in the 2017 Poultry Production Training Session in Raleigh, North Carolina from March 4 – 12. The delegation was comprised of representatives from China’s poultry integrators, feed mills, and poultry farms.
During the training session organized by USSEC, the delegation visited Cargill Grain Crushing Plant, Strickland Farm, and a Perdue chicken farm. They also trained at North Carolina State University on poultry management, housing and equipment, intestinal health, and quality assurance programs.
USSEC China Animal Utilization (AU) Director Dr. Richard Han and AU Program Manager Sunny Zhang escorted the delegation. Dr. Han delivered a briefing on the sustainability of U.S. Soy and USSEC activities.
During the last week of March, USSEC held a feed additives training course in Madrid, Spain for Central and Eastern European, Russian, and Turkish customers. The classes were designed to develop skills and upgrade knowledge of young industry professionals from six different countries, all growing in the feed and livestock sectors and in the consumption of soybean meal.
The three-day program, coordinated by USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, focused on feed additives as related to the efficient production of improved animal products, animal health, and a better environment. Participants learned the latest in research findings for energy and protein ingredients, the proper use of feed additives, and how to stay at the forefront of new nutritional developments for the feed and livestock industries.
The evaluation of crystalline amino acids in animal feeding was another important topic for the participants, learning about their nutritive value, quality control methods, and future perspectives regarding commercial availability of amino acids for the feed industry. Dr. Mateos discussed the advantages of feeding animals with vegetable protein sources, which are cheaper and safer than animal protein diets and how to use feed additives to get better animal performances.
Besides learning about the latest advances in feed additives, participants had the opportunity to understand the Spanish experience in the field of feed safety under EU laws and regulations.
The training classes continued with a one-day visit to the largest animal trade show, which takes place every two years in the Aragon province. On March 30, the entire USSEC training delegation visited the 13th FIGAN 2017 animal production tradeshow in Zaragoza, Spain. The fair has more than 70,000 visitors, an increase of 10 percent compared to 2015 with 40 nationalities present at the event.
Dr. Mateos and Dr. Juan Acedo escorted the USSEC delegation, which had the chance to learn the latest about various feed manufacturing, additives, and animal farming technologies. The course director and USSEC consultants escorting the group facilitated individual contacts and discussions between members of the USSEC delegation and feed additives and feed manufacturing technology suppliers.
The training achieved its goals to educate customers in recent advances in feed additives. All the participants had a clear understanding about how more can be squeezed out from soybean meal and grains by the proper use of feed additives for improving the nutritive utilization by non-ruminant animals.
A fruitful meeting between USSEC and the U. S. Grains Council (USGC) was held in March 2017 at USGC’s regional office in Tunis, on invitation of Ramy Haj Taieb. Mr. Taieb was appointed as USGC’s new regional director for Africa and the Middle East in January 2017.
Mr. Taieb served as the trade manager of Poulina Group Holding, the largest ingredient and feed company in Tunisia, for about twenty years. In addition to being an important USSEC customer, he participated with USSEC, the American Soybean Association (ASA), and American Soybean Association – International Marketing (ASA-IM) in many events and trips to the United States. USSEC Consultant – Tunisia Dr. Riadh Karma, represented USSEC at this meeting. Mohamed Ali Hsayri, an experienced USGC consultant and assistant of the regional director, also attended the meeting.
The meeting provided an opportunity to share information on the Tunisian ingredient feed and animal production market, as well as current and future approaches for USGC and USSEC activities in Tunisia and in Maghreb. There was a detailed exchange on future events and activities in order to coordinate and improve the respective calendars for both cooperators’ activities, as well as customer choices for each event.
USSEC, together with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), organized the 2017 Asia Grain Transportation Conference (GTC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Mary Tarnowka, U.S. Consul General, U.S. Embassy, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, officially opened this year’s GTC at the Sheraton Saigon. The event received its highest turnout to date: over 230 participants from across the region and beyond, with 12 nationalities representing around 100 companies. A large delegation of U.S. Soy family members and stakeholders attended, comprised of soy grower leaders, U.S. exporters, speakers, and guests.
The North and South Dakota Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSB) were the main sponsors of this year’s conference, represented by Mike Appert, vice chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council, and Joshua Kayser, South Dakota Soybean Association director.
Mr. Kayser gave a presentation on “U.S. Growers Perspectives: U.S. Soybean Crop Production Outlook,” while Mr. Appert assisted in co-chairing the “U.S. Soy Supply – Ensuring Quality & Sustainability through the Value Chain” session during the Southeast Asia Soy Symposium, another USSEC major regional event that is strategically held back to back with the GTC (see following story).
A reception was held for sixteen U.S. grower leaders from eight states and other U.S. Soy Family representatives, which provided a positive message to the participants and also helped to draw the connection between U.S. growers with their destination markets even closer.
As a result of the collective efforts of the organizers, sponsors, supporters, U.S. Soy Industry representatives, and presenters that provided their expertise and insights, 92 percent of 132 respondents polled indicated that this year’s conference experience was between “high value” and “very high value.” The majority of participants rated the speakers highly with over 93 percent indicating their experience from “good” to “very good.” The presentations were broad ranging, yet in-depth with relevant discussions about key Asian markets, the global outlook for grain and soy, trends in ocean freight, and supply chains for food and agri-products. This year, the organizers introduced two special forum sessions, the “U.S. Ag Producers Forum” and “U.S. Ag Exporters Forum,” which were also very well received and attracted strong participation and responses from the participants. Since introducing the e-platform, Pigeonhole, five years ago to manage the questions and answer sessions for these events, the quality of participation and interaction has been outstanding.
Finally, as with every Grain Transportation Conference, the organizers put together a major success criterion, which is marked by the amount of U.S. agricultural products that this important U.S. ag marketing platform has been able to generate for U.S. Soy stakeholders. Based on written evaluations submitted, over 1.1 million metric tons (MMT) of U.S. agricultural products were traded or negotiated at this year’s event. About 600,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal were reportedly transacted or equivalent to about 25 million bushels of soybeans. In addition, over half a million metric ton (MMT) of U.S. corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and wheat were also transacted at the conference.
Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for soy because of rapid economic growth and rising population. I gave a presentation this morning on the global soy supply and demand situation. This afternoon I moderated a panel discussion of U.S. farmers attending the meeting. I am very impressed with those attending and with the positives happening in this country. Vietnam ostensibly remains a communist country, but you would not realize it because of all of the capitalism happening here. Great, growing market for U.S. Soy.
-USSEC consultant John Baize
The organizers sincerely thank the North Dakota Soybean Council, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Kentucky Soybean Association, corporate sponsors, and industry supporters for making the Asia Grain Tranportation Conference a resounding success.
Last week, USSEC organized an innovative protein purchasing seminar in Madrid, Spain. Major southern European soy importers, traders, and end users met with the objective of talking about issues related to the soy market and other protein markets. Seminar subjects included: production, logistics, markets, trade, industry, flows, price building, sustainability, GMOs, customer preferences, quality differentiation in relation with production origins, and risk management, among others.
This meeting was organized for the Spanish and Portuguese industry. USSEC will hold similar seminars in other parts of Europe, building on the success in the Southern Europe market.
The session took place over a day and a half. Course attendees included feed industry representatives, soy crushers, and importers. In total, 80 people representing nearly 100 percent of the industry participated, including representatives from the main feed and meat industry such as Vall Company, Nutreco, Coren, Coorporación Agropecuaria, the Guissona, and many more. Soy crushers such as Bunge and Cargill, Sovena and all importers, Cofco, Gavilon, Nidera, Dreyfus also attended. The Spanish soy crush industry is one of the three biggest in the European Union.
USSEC consultants Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos, Dr. Jan Van Eys, and Lola Herrera spoke about the quality and sustainability of U.S. Soy, U.S. Soy farming, and soy value by production origin. Rory Deverell and Thomas Deevy from FCStone talked about the markets and risk management, while Bunge’s Javier Masso spoke about the import and soy crush industry in Europe, including Spain and Portugal. Vasco Tamagnini from Sovena gave a presentation about the crush of other proteins, and Pedro Ruiz from Altura discussed the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the euro.
Rounding out the discussion on proteins, several EU soy end users of soybean meal including the purchasing manager of Vall Companys, the main pork producer in Europe, Sebastia Arnau and a representative of French soy buyers Antoine Rebouding from Feed Alliance participated. Also staff form Bunge and Cargill in Geneva presented their Risk Management tools.
During this course, USSEC demonstrated the importance of quality, quality by origin, and the U.S. Soy Advantage to the Spanish and Portuguese industry. Attendees were also introduced to the sustainability of U.S. Soy, which is critical as the importance of sustainability in Southern Europe continues to grow.
USSEC held the Japan Swine Nutrition Course at the IGP Institute at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas from March 6-9. Japan is one of the top pork importers in the world, and participants attended specialized training in swine nutrition and feed manufacturing programs.
During the course, participants learned about numerous nutrition components and requirements, as well as feed manufacturing through workshops, lectures, and field trips. Participants were invited and sponsored by USSEC to gain their knowledge of both subjects of feed manufacturing and swine nutrition.
“This course has been organized by USSEC, but was funded by the Kansas Soybean Commission, where this year they have helped us bring in eight Japanese participants,” explained Carlos Campabadal, course coordinator and IGP’s feed manufacturing and grain management curriculum manager.
“I really enjoyed learning about new areas in swine nutrition in this course, and I can take back to my job all of the concepts of nutrition, which is a new idea I can share with my company,” said course participant, Mayumi Fukushima, farm manager at Japan Farm in Japan. Ms. Fukushima explains that she is also very satisfied with the course material that she learned and then traveling to the commercial swine farm and applying the information to a visual perspective of learning.
“It is a very good course for participants to learn about feed manufacturing techniques for swine one day, basic swine nutrition another day, and then taking a trip to visit commercial feed mills and a grain and soybean export facility, seeing how soybeans are exported in truck containers,” stated Mr. Campabadal.
A diversified team of Moroccan delegates representing the feed, poultry, dairy, and oil industries attended the 5th U.S. Soy Regional Trade Exchange –European Union (EU) / Middle East – North African (MENA) held in Lisbon, Portugal from February 8 -10.
Representatives from the leading poultry integrators, the largest feed mill, a dairy cooperative, and a vegetable oil refiner had the opportunity to meet other professional buyers from the greater region, along with traders and U.S. suppliers. This year’s edition of the trade exchange welcomed a number of attendees from several markets with great success, partially attributed to the high level and quality of all participants including customers, experts, USSEC and grower leaders’ representatives, that help to protect U.S. Soy’s market share in Morocco.
The Moroccan team’s participation in USSEC events reflects the importance of the U.S. as a major supplier of high quality soybeans and soy products. USSEC teams, consultants, and staff assisted professionals to learn more about the organization, the U.S. Soy value chain, and its world position.
The main factors impacting demand for U.S. Soy as a key ingredient in animal feed were among the issues discussed during interactions between suppliers and buyers.
Morocco has been able to maintain its place in the top ten U.S. Soy export markets for soybean meal and soy oil and remains the leading consumer of U.S. Soy products in the MENA region with a soybean meal market estimated at over 600,000 tons. Its imports include U.S. soybean meal, hulls, oil, and beans adding up to a total bean equivalent of nearly 600,000 tons per year.
Poultry remains the main market driver with about 19 kilograms (kg) of poultry meat consumed per capita and an average annual growth of 5 to 7 percent through modern structured emerging integrations.
USSEC continues to support animal industries in Morocco through targeted programs strengthening the U.S. as a major supplier of high-quality soybeans and products, highlighting the strength and intrinsic advantages of the whole soybean value chain. All team members had a higher understanding of soybean meal differentiation based on origin.
In Sri Lanka, USSEC has had two significant landmarks that helped obtain market access for U.S. Soy: the acceptance of genetically modified (GM) soybean meal for use in animal feeds and a zero customs tariff for imports.
In 2008, Dr. Athula Mahamage was appointed as USSEC’s Sri Lanka country representative and his concerted efforts with local influencers and policy makers helped lead to these accomplishments. As a result of this and the continued tech and trade efforts by Dr. Athula, the U.S. Soy industry has enjoyed a steady increase in the soybean meal market share in Sri Lanka. The country imported about 220,000 metric tons (MT) of soy meal in 2015/16, of which 70 percent is U.S. soybean meal.
However, markets change, policies get altered, and government rules are amended. Caught in one such transformation was the reversal of customs duty on soybean meal that was notified by the Sri Lankan Government in November 2016. The duty, which was set at 15 percent, put Dr. Athula and his team (members of the animal husbandry, finance ministry, and trade associations in the livestock and poultry industry) on alert. They worked strategically to bring the duty down to 5 percent in December 2016. As a next step, the team convinced the authorities at the finance ministry on the importance of soybean meal, which supports a growing poultry/animal feed industry in the country and has successfully gotten soybean meal listed in the Gazette Notification as an “exempted item” for customs duty. Competitiveness for U.S. soybean meal entering Sri Lanka was hampered slightly but has been successfully restored back to its original state.
Market access is a priority area for USSEC’s global market reach. Constraints of different natures exist in different countries and some issues may even crop up from nowhere like the one cited here. Continued efforts in this area ensure markets for U.S. Soy.