The USSEC Americas team recently took part in the 2017 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, as part of their animal utilization mission to the U.S. Over 31,000 poultry, meat, and feed industry leaders from all over the world visited IPPE. The 2017 IPPE featured 1,273 exhibitors and just over 8000 international visitors from 129 countries, with Canada having the largest representation with almost 1,400 attendees. The largest regional representation, however, came from the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, adding up to 3,226 visitors, showing the strength and interest of the related industries in the Americas Region.
USSEC participated by having multiple regions represented and through various activities. The presence at the booth of U.S. Soy grower leaders, staff, and consultants from diverse regions allowed for animated discussions and interactions with visitors and industry representatives from multiple countries as well as exposing them to the U.S. Soy advantage and communicating the U.S. Soy sustainability message. This all translated to a prime opportunity for USSEC to continue building a strong preference for U.S. Soy.
The USSEC Americas team was represented by Gerardo Luna, Pedro Lora, and Belinda Pignotti, who, prior to the event, worked closely with the local Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) and U.S. Department of Trade Representations Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) representatives in the Americas to promote the registration of more than 750 contacts, all of whom were told about USSEC’s booth and encouraged to participate in USSEC activities during the event.
While attending IPPE, USSEC Americas consultants participated in the animal utilization (AU) contractor meeting held on February 1. Led by USSEC CEO Jim Sutter and Pam Helmsing, USSEC Marketing Director, Animal Utilization & Meal and Acting Asia Sub-Continent Lead, the meeting proved an interesting and useful experience allowing for interaction with contractors from different regions around the globe. Mr. Lora, Ms. Pignotti, and Mr. Luna shared relevant markets’ current conditions, successful experiences throughout the most recent fiscal years, and potential activities to best service stakeholders with U.S. grower leaders and staff.
At IPPE, USSEC hosted a luncheon where USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos presented a technical lecture, “Have You Checked Your Soybean’s Pedigree Lately? – Evaluating the Nutritive Value of Soybean Meal in Poultry Diets.” More than 120 people, including direct customers and lead industry association representatives, as well as FAS, FCS officials, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cooperators from more than 20 countries, attended this event. USSEC staff and contractors all collaborated in hosting such a distinguished group of guests.
Although the Americas region did not sponsor a group of industry representatives, prior to the event, consultants worked very closely with the local FAS and FCS representatives in the Americas, who did co-sponsor relevant attendees. Efforts by the regional team included promoting the registration of more than 750 contacts, namely from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. These contacts were all previously informed of USSEC’s booth and its location, and were specifically invited to USSEC’s luncheon. The Americas regional consultants arranged for two major specialized media to cover and report on the event and to have Dr. Mateos interviewed, thus resulting in a strong support of the distribution of information on USSEC and the technical content of conference.
“IPPE was a great experience that involved team work and crossing the efforts amongst consultants from different regions,” said Mr. Luna. “We all enjoyed interacting with visitors from all over the world and introducing our regional customers to the grower leaders. Our customers enjoyed talking with them and our ‘neighbors’ from SoyMeal InfoCenter, which provided ideas for potential activities.”
He continued, “Our team really enjoyed the opportunity to service our membership, both exporters and allied classes, and to provide them with specific information, contact leads, and market references and updates. Our conversations with them on their specific interests and capacities allowed us to better suggest contacts and better target their efforts.”
Leading up to and during the Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, USSEC – Americas has worked on a number of projects promoting the usage of U.S. soybean oil to importers, refiners, end users and consumers.
With the new long-range strategic plan (LRSP), the direction has changed to build more demand and value in the marketplace. Buyers at oil refineries have shown increased interest in USSEC’s new projects, and 100 percent of all soybean oil refining companies have committed to the 1st U.S. Soybean Oil Risk Management conference.
In this fiscal year, U.S. soybean oil exports to Colombia have grown from 25,400 metric tons (MT) to 54,600 MT, or approximately 115 percent above last year at this time. Colombia is now the third highest importer of U.S. soybean oil in the world and U.S. imports are expected to increase.
Executive presidents from the Venezuelan Feed Association (AFACA); Poultry Federation (FENAVI); and Swine Federation (FEPORCINA); in addition to institutional representation from Grupo La Caridad, the country’s largest animal integrator; Protinal/Proagro, the second largest animal integrator; Mayupan, the largest turkey producer in Venezuela; and Alconca/Ovomar, and Venezuela’s largest egg cooperative); and FAS Caracas officials attended a trade luncheon hosted by USSEC Americas.
One of the meeting’s main topics was the serious supply problem the industry is facing with the lack of foreign currency flow and availability. From June through September 2016, the industry contributed with a temporary “relief” by importing raw materials at a free dollar exchange rate, but this is no longer sustainable. From now on, all imports of raw materials will be made by the government’s purchasing agency only. According to this group, there is some local corn to last until February 2017, but the government will have to resolve the supply of soybean meal. The group stated that they foresee the sector shrinking by 20 percent of what used to be a regular production of 6 million metric tons (MMT) of feed up until 2015.
As part of USSEC’s goals for regulators to understand the need to innovate trade barriers and allow a better flow of U.S. Soy imports into the Americas regio, USSEC, and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) – Lima, and FAS – Quito, were involved in the process of gathering the recommendations necessary for an extension of a zero percent customs duty deferral for soybean meal imports to Ecuador. Parties involved worked very closely with the Trade Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fishery (MAGAP).
On December 21, 2016, MAGAP presented a technical report with the recommendations to grant an extension of the customs tariff deferral of zero percent ad-valorem, and the temporary suspension of the Andean Price Band System for imports of soybean meal from any origin.
On December 23, 2016, during a general session of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Ecuador (COMEX), a three-year extension was approved, expiring on December 31, 2019.
According to the official document of this resolution, “The custom tariff in Ecuador is a tool of economic policy that must promote the development of local production, in accordance with government policies, to increase competition in the productive sectors in Ecuador.
Through Resolution No. 59 of May 17, 2012, published in the Official Registry No. 859, dated December 28, 2012, the custom tariff in Ecuador was approved.
With Resolution No. 040-2014, adopted on November 26, 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador (COMEX ) resolved to defer to 0% ad valorem and suspend the application of the Andean System Price Band until December 2016 for the importation of soybean meal, classified under customs tariff code 2304.00.00.00, referred to meals and other solid residues obtained from the extraction of soybean oil, including grinded or in pellets.”