Middle East / North Africa
The MENA region is home to 380 million people or 6 percent of the global population. The regional GDP is 4.5 percent of the world’s GDP with wide geographic swings. The countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Israel import over 150,000 metric tons of U.S. Soy and the region represents 4 percent of total U.S. Soy exports.
Egypt is the most important market for the U.S. Soy industry in the region as it approaches 1 million tons of imported U.S. Soy. The Egyptian crush industry continues to show strong growth with several local crush plants expanding and in some cases doubling their production. The Egyptian poultry industry remains strong along with the aquaculture industry, which now produces over 1 MMT annually with tilapia as the primary species. Soy extrusion and full-fat soymeal production is increasing throughout the region and Saudi Arabia’s poultry and dairy industry is very strong.
The North Africa countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria were the fastest growing feed industry in the world by percentage last year despite ongoing challenges in the region.
USSEC and the U.S. Soy industry have faced some operational interruptions in this region due to ongoing conflicts in several countries. The region also faces some challenges with poultry disease issues, specifically in Egypt and Tunisia. Yet investments in animal agriculture and infrastructure are ongoing with significant investments in soy crushing/extrusion, soy oil refining and port infrastructure in Egypt and other countries. Investments in poultry, dairy, aquaculture and feed production are also occurring throughout the region even as government/social transitions continue. Regional markets for soybeans, soy oil and soybean meal are all considered as growing by USSEC.
Middle East / North Africa Directory
Middle East / North Africa News
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.
As part of the study to improve marketing of Egyptian aquaculture products, a wrap up workshop was held on April 18 at the Conrad Hotel in Cairo, entitled “Improved Marketing of Egyptian Aquaculture Products.” Forty participants attended the event. They included fish farmers (both freshwater and marine), traders, feed mill operators, researchers, and some development partners.
The workshop aimed to present the findings of the study undertaken by Ian Goulding and Maggie Kamel to “Characterize and Improve Distribution of Aquaculture Products in Egypt.” The seminar was divided into four sessions: analysis and key findings of the study; recommendations to improve marketing; guidelines for handling of aquaculture products; and discussion.
Based on a SWOT analysis of the aquaculture sector, Goulding drew recommendations for both the private sector, centering around developing new marketing channels through investment in processing and distribution infrastructure; improving safety, hygiene and handling conditions; improved organization of the sector (strengthened association of aquaculture operators); and generic marketing support.
Participants actively engaged in a vibrant discussion over the recommendations. They agreed on the need for establishing an organization to better represent the interests of the sector and lead some of the marketing activities required to support the sector. They also discussed potential technical assistance activities that could be extended by development partners such as training and study tours.
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.”
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.