ASC Soy Buyers are Empowered by USSEC’s Trading Workshop

Asia Subcontinent (ASC) soy buyers are still on a learning curve in terms of using international trading tools for sourcing soy from the U.S. Soy industry. Buyers here have traditionally depended on India in the past where sound trading systems have always been lacking because India does not operate or participate in futures markets.
With a gradual increase in dependence on U.S. Soy in ASC, USSEC conducted an annual international trading workshop to enhance technical knowledge on aspects such as contracting and negotiations, containerized ocean freight, basis trading and hedging, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grain standards and how they are important, and simulation exercises on risk management. This event, “Grain Purchasing Workshop” was conducted May 2 to 4 in Colombo, Sri Lanka for about 45 important ASC participants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The audience was comprised of company owners representing feed mills, crushers, and soy traders, along with purchasing managers who make important buying decisions. USSEC consultant – Sri Lanka Athula Mahagamage, planned and executed this event. USSEC Senior Director, Basic Market Assessment /Non-Traditional Funding and Acting Regional Director – Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Ed Beaman and Vijay Anand, USSEC’s Deputy Regional Lead – ASC provided opening remarks.
Jay O’ Neil, Senior Agricultural Economist for the International Grains Program (IGP) at Kansas State University, was the main resource person who helped conduct the three-day workshop.  ASC participants showed keen interest in the topics because they could immediately use the practical knowledge and tips to make their businesses successful. Some of them felt that such business topics require constant refreshing and re-learning. They added that they learned new concepts of risk management, basics of CBOT/CME especially because they have always used physical trading systems. Study of price moments in CME and using them to hedge positions were also inferred as good guidance for managing their businesses.
The USSEC team feels that there are four important areas that will complement each other and enhance preferences for U.S Soy in this basic market space.

  1. Continuously educating that U.S Soy is sustainably produced using the best technology in the U.S and that it can cater to increasing global demand
  2. Demonstrating the value and performance of U.S Soy in animal production systems
  3. Enhancing trade linkages and networking with U.S Soy suppliers
  4. Empowering buyers with the best knowledge on trading systems that can be used while sourcing U.S Soy for their businesses.
A section of the audience at the Grain Purchasing Workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Ed Beaman answers a few questions from the Sri Lankan audience
Mr. Beaman provides an overview of USSEC and the importance of basic markets for U.S. Soy
Group Photo - Grain Purchasing Workshop
Jay O' Neil conducts the price risk management workshop
Mr. O' Neil trains the buyers on international trading tools