More Than $300 Million of U.S. Agricultural Products Negotiated at 2016 SEA U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference
USSEC organized the 2016 Southeast Asia U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference (also known as the Southeast Asia Buyers Conference), together with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and Foreign Agricultural Service – U.S. Department of Agriculture (FAS‐USDA), from July 31 to August 3, in Mactan-Cebu, Philippines.
The conference is recognized as the premier agricultural event in the region, and over 120 companies with representatives from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, New Zealand, and the United States participated. The three-day conference, themed “Building Sustainable Agribusiness for the Next Decade,” was attended by more than 230 participants consisting of key U.S. Soy and feed grain customers from across Southeast Asia. A large number of U.S. and international suppliers, regional and local representatives of international trading companies also attended. The Southeast Asia Buyers Conference has long established itself as a venue not just for information and knowledge gathering, but also as a business networking platform to explore opportunities to negotiate and trade U.S. agricultural products.
22 invited speakers, including grower leaders, USSEC senior personnel from the U.S., and renowned industry experts shared their insights on a wide repertoire of relevant industry topics:
- World Soy, Corn and Wheat Update – Production, Supply and Demand
- Outlook and Price Scenarios for Oilseeds, Oils & Meal
- Global Climate Change and its Impact on Agriculture
- Transportation and Logistics Trends Affecting the Global Agricultural Trade
- S. Soybean Processing Industry and its Challenges
- Themes and Innovation Shaping the Evolution in Agriculture
- China’s Agricultural Landscape and its Impact on Regional Trade
- Strategic Southeast Asia Country Updates
United Soybean Board (USB) director David Williams gave a presentation on the 2016-17 U.S. soybean crop outlook, sharing details of his own farm in Michigan. Monte Peterson, American Soybean Association (ASA) director, highlighted the U.S. Soy farmers’ commitment to produce the best quality and most consistent product on a daily basis for their international customers. He also discussed the importance of sustainable farm practices including conservation, modern technology, and biotechnology.
Rosalind Leeck, USSEC Marketing Director – Market Access/ FTO, emphasized the commitment of U.S. Soy growers in applying sustainable soy production practices for personal (passing it down to the next generation), social, and commercial reasons. She also shared details of the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and explained how importers and end-users can benefit from this program. Keith Schrader, chairman of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and MSR&PC director Paul Dahlseng were also on hand to share their knowledge and experience as U.S. soy growers with the participants.
Overall, participants expressed that the speakers helped them better understand the relevant issues and current trends affecting their business and agriculture as a whole. Many recognize the need for quality inputs, constant information update, production and marketplace best practices as key factors to business sustainability. The interactive panel question and answer sessions continued to be a major highlight of the conference – with the help of a specialized technical application, participants have been able to voice/vote on their questions to speakers candidly resulting in frank and in-depth discussions.
Based on the feedback received, over 1 million metric tons of U.S. agricultural products with an estimated value of USD $300 million (basis futures value only) were negotiated and traded at the conference.
The conference was made possible by South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (main sponsor), funding support from USB, FAS, MSR&PC, and the Kentucky Soybean Board. In addition, the event received outstanding support from 19 corporate sponsors including the CME Group, CoBank, and 17 major commodity trading houses.