News: Greater Europe
The World Soy-Feeds Conference is one of the main annual events in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for local crushers, feed millers and livestock companies. Organized in Saint Petersburg, the event’s main goal is to disseminate the latest international information from the field of market trends, soy processing, and soy ingredient use in animal feeds by the rapidly growing Russian livestock industry.
Early this year, Russian crushers imported 486.1 thousand metric tons (TMT) of U.S. soybeans. This is the second consecutive year that the country has been a key European customer for U.S. Soy. In an effort to continue good relationships with Russian industries, USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz led the USSEC delegation at the 2nd World Soy-Feeds Conference, which took place June 1 – 3. USSEC Marketing Director – Animal Utilization (AU) Pam Helmsing, USSEC consultant AU – European Union (EU) Iani Chihaia, and Matt Ammermann, Commodity Risk Manager and Vice President – Eastern Europe/Black Sea Region of INTL FCStone were also part of this team. Local consultant Maria Domoroshchenkova hosted the delegation in her native city.
Mr. Metz spoke to about 200 industry delegates from different regions of Russia and neighboring countries about how he farms quality U.S. Soy for customers around the world, sharing his farming practices, and how he preserves land resources for future generations. Andrey Kolyaskin, general director of the trade house Belagro (Agrolats Group), a grain and soybean meal trader, reiterated what Mr. Metz had said, reinforcing the role of farmers in raising safe, healthy food for people around the world and restating their duty to build the foundation for a future generation of farmers.
Mr. Ammermann discussed the recent rise in soybean and meal prices, and oilseeds market factors influencing the next crop from the Northern Hemisphere. His presentation provided attendees an understanding of the soy market from a worldwide prospective. Factors such as weather, currencies and geopolitics play a role in the latest developments.
Dr. Chihaia stressed the importance of vegetable protein for the global feed industry, focusing on issues related to the most important alternative protein ingredients currently available in Russia: rapeseed meal, double dehulled sunflower meal, and lupins, discussing losses and gains when substituting soybean meal. His presentation concluded that the best broiler performances are achieved only if soybean meal remains the staple of broiler feeds.
The conference was an excellent opportunity to promote U.S. Soy and interact with Russian customers to learn useful information about the latest developments and trends of the feed industry, animal husbandry and Russia’s soy market. USSEC was able to deliver inspiring messages about farming quality U.S. Soy for worldwide customers and how to build the foundation for the future generations of farmers.
USSEC’s presence at the World Soy-Feeds Conference facilitated ample interactions with several local crushing, feed, and livestock companies. The opportunity to chat in an informal manner with industry friends gave the delegation a good understanding of the reality of current Russian livestock production and the challenges of importing U.S. Soy. Continuing USSEC’s efforts to support and educate young Russian specialists in the efficient use of soy will create customer loyalty to U.S. Soy and the continuation and growth of imports.
After the conference, Ms. Helmsing and Dr. Domoroshchenkova visited the Federal Selection – Genetic Center of Fish Breeding in Ropsha, near St. Petersburg, and Gatchinsky Feed Mill, which manufactures different types of compound feeds including aquafeeds. Despite the current low level of aquaculture and fish farming in Russia, this area has a very high potential for development in upcoming years and would contribute to the growth of soy consumption.
At USSEC’s “Feed Manufacturing and Swine Farms Management” training recently held in Timisoara, Romania, Smithfield Farm delegates had the opportunity to hear about the latest findings in swine feeding and farm management research.
During the first day of training, presentations were focused on demonstrating nutrition knowledge in relation to the benefits of feeding U.S. soybean meal and soy products to modern swine hybrids.
“Soy is the key ingredient in swine diets and when it is properly used, it improves performances while enhancing the economics and sustainability of pork production. It has been a pleasure to share with the technical team of Smithfield Romania the latest knowledge regarding composition of soy from different origins,” said USSEC consultant Gonzalo Mateos. “Besides that, we enjoyed meeting and visiting with Smithfield’s Romania people. They have a state of the art feed mill, probably one of the best at this stage and qualified personnel, which gives the company a competitive advantage.”
On the second day, Smithfield managers and the speakers focused on different aspects of feeding and health of the sows and interactions between nutrition and management. USSEC consultant Josep Gasa Gaso demonstrated that properly fed ratios to gilts and sows increases the potential to obtain an adequate number of pigs per litter at birth, with good growth rates during their productive lives. In this regard, the use of soy products should help in designing optimum feeds for breeding swine.
As a key player in Romania, Smithfield annually manufactures over 360,000 metric tons (MT) of feed compound and is one of the top soybean meal, soy oil and soy protein concentrates users in the Southeast Europe region. Working closely with key customers, organizing common events, and providing education will rebuild the strengths of local pig production and potentially generate U.S. Soy exports.
On May 12, USSEC joined with the Royal Dutch Grain and Feed Trade Association (Het Comite) and the Dutch Feed Industry Association (NEVEDI) in organizing a networking event focused on the “Challenges in Global Raw Material Supply” near the port city of Rotterdam. Over 120 industry representatives participated in the daylong conference, which covered a range of issues currently facing the feed industry in the Netherlands. Former Dutch Minister of the Environment Jacqueline Cramer opened the morning session with a call to broaden the circular economy on resource use in the Netherlands. Additional speakers addressed current challenges in the plant protection business and the Netherlands government’s efforts to increase the use of insects in animal feed. The Chairman of the European Former Foodstuffs Processors Association gave a presentation on efforts to increase industrial food products in animal feed (do not use the word “waste”).
USSEC representative – Northern Europe Eugene Philhower gave a presentation on the sustainability of U.S. soybean production, emphasizing the continuous improvement efforts by U.S. soy growers and the recent inclusion of the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) on the approved list of FEFAC sourcing guidelines. To address concerns on the volume of sustainable soy available from the United States and the costs involved with sustainable production, Philhower emphasized that almost all U.S. soy is certifiable and that applying for the certificate is free for exporters.
In a panel discussion afterwards, Mr. Philhower presented his thesis: as long as the European model of agriculture was based on livestock production, Europe will continue to import a majority of its protein needs. In that market, the U.S. wants to position itself as a reliable source of high quality, competitively priced and sustainably produced soybeans.
In an effort to capitalize on the market opportunities offered by the recent dynamic changes in the Southeast European feed and crushing industries, Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) consultant Gunnar Lynum and USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Iani Chihaia visited local crushing plants and feed mill companies from May 16 – 18. The goal of this mission was to promote U.S. Soy and create confidence on the end users’ side in directly importing soybeans beans from U.S. farmers and cooperatives.
“Visiting with end users in Bulgaria and Romania at this time of the year is the right time since in a couples of months, harvest will become more of a reality and time allows us to establish commercial contacts and properly follow up with them,” said Mr. Lynum. “I believe that every little win is part of improving market opportunities for U.S. Soy. We would like to see the plants in Romania and Bulgaria processing U.S. Soy and this should happen once the new crop is harvested.”
Even if is not the largest soy user in the EU, southeast Europe’s sub region offers opportunities for U.S. Soy exports simply because of the high interest from local companies to secure their soy ingredient supply under the current market situation. In this regard, soy extrusion plants are looking at ways of getting back into production by the U.S. harvest season. In the meantime, Bulgarian oilseeds are currently exploring possibilities of converting existing sunflower processing plants to soybean crushing in order to optimize profitability. By working closely with the local industries, a supply chain should be developed between U.S. Soy farmers and end users from Southeast Europe, a market which is using over 800,000 tons annually.
Romania most likely boasts the largest number of soy extrusion plants of any European country. Over 20 companies have their own soy extrusion plants and at this stage, the main challenge is the continuous supply of beans needed in order to keep the existing extrusion plants running all twelve months of the year.
During the first week of May, USSEC consultants Mian Riaz and Juan Acedo Rico visited Romania in order to understand the current status of the soy extrusion technology use and to evaluate the adoption of good manufacturing practices in full fat soybean meal production, conveyed through different USSEC activities organized over the past few years.
“The output of the past activities carried out by USSEC in Romania are outstanding,” Dr. Riaz commented. “We are impressed with the high level of adoption in a relatively short period of time of soy extrusion, mainly dry extrusion technology, developed by U.S. Insta Pro Iowa. The customers we visited with this week in Romania have the capability to properly process soybeans by means of extrusion – expelling and quality of the products is very good,” he continued. “We are glad to see that and we can acknowledge that there is a high demand for beans here, and the people we met are looking at ways of getting their facilities back into production by harvest season in the U.S.”
During discussions with the plant managers, the consultants emphasized the optimum parameters for maximum full fat soybean meal quality. They also highlighted the nutritional benefits for non-ruminants of extruded soy.
“Dry extruded soybean meal is high in both protein and energy, which creates a highly competitive ingredient against other oilseeds used in animal feeding. As a farm-processed raw material, full fat soybean meal is a fresh ingredient with reputedly lower feed costs and improves animal performance,” explained USSEC Animal Utilization Consultant – Romania Iani Chihaia. “Especially in broiler feeding, extruded soy’s benefit is that it supplies over 30 percent of the energy in the feeds, thereby reducing the need for expensive vegetable oils, and the demand for full fat soybeans should grow. The fact that it can be used in many applications in high value feeds makes extruded soy very appealing to the Romanian feed manufactures.”
“Besides the quality of the beans, a fundamental understanding and experience in engineering is required for the design of the extrusion plants. Today, that work incorporates the understanding of the functional properties of soy, selecting the right equipment, coupled with practical experience,” Dr. Acedo Rico said. “However, improper engineering design is just one of many functions that could ruin a soy extrusion business,” he added.
“Because it does not grow enough soybeans for its feed and livestock requirements, Romania imports over 80 percent of the meal consumed by the feed industry. Early this year, U.S. soybean meal imports filled the gap for the first quarter, but starting with the second quarter, there are no bean stocks available in the country,” stated Dr. Iani. “The main achievement of this week’s activity implemented in Romania is that we revived hopes for a potential resurgence in extruded full fat soybean production, which prepares the ground for U.S. bean imports from this year’s crop from the U.S.”
USSEC attended a seminar given by the Bulgarian Feed Manufacturers Association on April 21. USSEC animal utilization consultants Dr. Jan van Eys and Dr. Iani Chihaia presented two keynote papers that focused on specific aspects of soybean meal differentiations and the advantages of U.S. Soy for feed production and formulation of feed products. Over 75 Bulgarian feed industry specialists attended the USSEC presentation with great interest.
“Thanks to USSEC’s efforts to join the annual conference, the Bulgarian feed manufacturers have access to the latest technical and soy market information,” stated Dr. Atanas Dardjikov, feed association president. “The information conveyed by the USSEC experts was very useful for us and we have gotten a clear message: U.S. Soy is nutritionally and economically advantageous relative to other origins.”
Dr. van Eys said, “It was clear that the general opinion was very positive and that the attendees agree with the fact that there are differences in soy products on the basis of origin, with U.S. Soy products being superior to other origins. In due time – and as markets increase in importance and openness – this should translate as increased demand for U.S. Soy and soybean meal.”
During the conference, the USSEC Award of Appreciation was presented to Dr. Dardjikov in honor and recognition of his extraordinary service, dedication to profession, outstanding leadership, and tireless efforts in building a successful partnership between the Bulgarian and U.S. feed industries.
Before and after the event, the USSEC consultants visited with leading companies and soy customers, VIAND (the largest independent feed miller in Bulgaria) and AMETA (the largest poultry integrator).
“Our meetings with customers were informative and allowed us to get a better understanding of the Bulgarian feed and livestock actual reality and potential for progress and expansion,” said Dr. Chihaia. “This helped us to understand the opportunities and potential that exists in the Bulgarian market for growth in animal production and consequently, in the use of U.S. Soy products. Continuing to support U.S. Soy’s customers will assist the development of this market and better position U.S. Soy products.”
Bulgaria may offer an important market opportunity in the near future for U.S. Soy. It stands to reason that extra effort in supporting current developments will deliver major returns in the near future. Within this context, the attendance and presentations at the Bulgarian Feed Association Annual conference underlined USSEC’s commitment to the development of the local feed industry.
USSEC participated in a technical seminar from April 19 – 21 in Sergiev Posad, Russia. The poultry seminar focused on new technologies in feed production, modern approaches to feeding of high productive crosses, quality control of raw materials, compound feeds and feed additives. It was organized by the Russian Poultry Research Institute (VNITIP).
A total of about 70 people attended this seminar. Attendees predominantly represented Russia’s feed and poultry industry.
USSEC consultant Gonzalo Mateos gave a presentation titled, “Traditional and Novel Ingredients in Practical Poultry Diets: Nutritive Value and Quality Control.” This presentation compared the nutritive value of different protein sources widely used by the EU and Russian poultry industries such as cereals and oilseed meals, clearly showing that variability of nutritive value within an ingredient is very high. Dr. Mateos demonstrated the benefits of soy products in poultry feeding versus other protein sources and provided data for understanding the quality differences in soybean meal (including differences in origin) and the impact on broiler production. The presentation was well received, as evidenced by the number of questions and reactions. The important role of USSEC and U.S. Soy products was clearly appreciated and recognized.
USSEC used this visit to network and gain a better understanding of the Russian markets. Although the current average share of cereals reaches 68 percent in poultry feeding ratios in Russia, the local poultry industry continues to be the main user of soybean meal. Poultry products are very important for Russian customers. Poultry meat occupies a 48 percent share in the structure of meat production in the country. In 2015, Russia produced more than 4.3 million tons of poultry meat in slaughtered weight and more than 42 billion eggs. Per capita, poultry meat production was 30.3 kilograms (kg) and 295 kg of eggs; it is forecasted to grow to 33.5 kg of poultry meat and 308 kg of eggs in 2020, showing that Russia’s demand for high protein feeds will continue to grow. Consequently, USSEC’s marketing efforts are beneficial for the promotion of soy additives in poultry feeding ratios and will further push the demand for U.S. Soy.
As part of its technical support activities, USSEC worked closely during the month of April with U.S. Soy end users from Romania to provide professionals from the feed manufacturing industry and related industries with practical oriented knowledge for safe and profitable feed production.
USSEC organized the “Feed Safe and Profitable Feed Production” seminar on April 14 in Bucharest, Romania. Over 27 Romanian feed mill managers, lab managers, nutritionists, supervisors and animal production managers who are actively engaged in feed mill operations all over the country attended the event with high interest.
The two speakers, USSEC consultants Juan Acedo Rico (feed technology expert) and Pedro Medel (feed safety and GMP+ expert), provided an overview of the key principles in efficient feed processing and technology. The information presented by Dr. Acedo Rico summarized animal feed production and provided an understanding of the current challenges in maintaining efficiency in the feed industry, including feed mill design, equipment maintenance, and feed processing. Safety protocols were covered by Dr. Medel, who also shared best practices from the Spanish sector by involving ISO, HACCP and GPM.
Quality control and assurance are critical issues in the EU and indeed, for the Romanian feed industry, which has been a European state since 2007. The quality control systems at the feed mills visited in Romania clearly involve properly trained personnel able to organize, document and comply with policies of various procedures and certifications processes necessary to guarantee the quality of feed ingredients and feed. However, continuous updates are needed due to changes and standard upgrades of the European industry.
“Our first mission to Romania was very pleasant and extremely interesting since we had the opportunity of sharing experiences and ideas about feed efficiency with our colleagues,” said Dr. Medel. “Besides design of feed plants and profitable feed production, we had the chance during field visits to discuss safety concepts and quality programs. Definitely, the most interesting visit was at Banvit FNC, which is going to be the first feed mill in the country certified under the GMP+ Feed Safety Scheme. This proves the high interest of the key players in the market to comply with EU regulations and increasing competitive advantages of the Eastern European countries in the EU 28 context.”
“The seminar in Bucharest was also a success and all the participants showed high interest on the information presented. All this work was extremely well conducted by USSEC and interaction with participants continued for a couple of days after the event,” stated Dr. Acedo. “We are pleased to continue to assist the U.S. Soy customers from Romania through future instructive and extensive training programs that will enable them to understand state of-the-art process technologies and to apply them with benefit in the field. We trust that we have thus not only acted for the benefit of U.S. Soy, but also to have aroused the interest of the soy customers in efficiently producing feeds in today’s highly competitive business environment.”
He continued, “After our first visit to Romania, we believe that the country is among the best endowed European countries in terms of land, water and skilled people. In this regard, and increase in meat production and indeed, soy consumption, are imminent for the coming years due to the potential of agriculture and ongoing investments in the feed and livestock industries we just saw during our mission.”
The feed and livestock industries of the European Union and Russian Federation depend on U.S. soybean farmers to maintain a consistent supply of soybean meal. Currently, countries from these regions are the second largest U.S. soy importer. In order to assist customers and develop the markets in this area, USSEC focused on this region by implementing several activities in 2015.
The Spanish feed industry is one of U.S. Soy’s leading customers and an excellent example for developing industries from Central and Eastern Europe. The total annual industry feed compound production in Spain is 21 million tons, plus over 8 million produced by the home mixing sector. Pig feed production accounts for over 45 percent of the total, while poultry is at 31 percent and cattle consume 24 percent of the feed produced in Spain. According to the latest estimates, Spain’s position as the leading EU country in terms of total compound feed was strengthened during 2015, putting it in second place of EU’s 28 feed producing countries.
The Spanish feed sector uses various sources of proteins, mainly soy. Because of fierce competition today in meat production, the Spanish feed sector is forced to be more and more competitive. Quality of protein sources plays a vital role in maximizing the performance of animals at this stage and in the near future. This is expected to generate an increase in high quality proteins, especially U.S. Soy use in animal feed. In this regard, Spain continues to be one of the top three EU destinations for U.S. Soy exports. For the last months of 2015 year, Spain imported over 1.2 million tons of U.S. soybeans and 150,000 tons of U.S. soybean meal. Total yearly U.S. Soy imports are valued at over $600 million.
USSEC has closely followed the improvements in the Spanish feed sector in the correct usage of U.S. Soy in animal feed and decided last year to implement several activities in Spain with the goal to disseminate knowledge and train young nutritionists, quality control, and feed mill managers from Eastern Europe and Russia.
“During 2015, USSEC organized several trainings in conjunction with University Politecnica of Madrid (UPM) with the main goal to improve customer preference for U.S. soybean meal and help buyers recognize the value of higher quality and service,” states Prof. Gonzalo Mateos, USSEC consultant and head of Animal Nutrition Department at UPM. “In this regard, USSEC has selected prominent experts in the field of animal nutrition and feed manufacturing and offered excellent training programs for U.S. Soy customers from the emerging feed industries from Romania, Poland and Russia. These actions will lead to an increase in U.S. Soy imports by the Central and Eastern European feed industries.”
“We feel like you can never go wrong by investing in the education of soy customers. Returns will come in the near future in the form of people from all over Europe implementing and working the knowledge we shared,” says USSEC Feed Technologist Consultant Dr. Juan Acedo Rico. “Taking into account that the EU is the second largest customer of U.S. Soy, the more feed each EU state will produce, the more soy they will use.”
USSEC organized a country meeting in Segovia, Spain, on April 5. The focus of the meeting was on U.S. soybean meal’s quality, sustainability and markets. This year, USSEC is giving greater emphasis to the importance of quality control in the raw materials used in feed industry.
Segovia is situated in central Spain; the area ranks second in the country for pork production and is also a beef and dairy producing hub. The meeting involved businesses from the autonomous region of Castilla Leon, which represents 17 percent of the total industrial feed production in Spain, about 5 million tons, plus feed on farm. Total industrial feed production in Spain is 21 million tons and including feed on farm, comes to 30 million.
This area is the main grain producer in the country, producing corn, wheat, and barley. Because it produces virtually no oilseed, it must import all protein needed for the feed industry, mainly soybean meal.
The area’s soybean meal supply comes from the northern ports of Santader, Bilbao, and Galicia and usually hails from Argentina, Brazil, and the U.S. Soybeans from Brazil and the U.S. then go to Bunge’s crushing plant in Bilbao. The main players in the region’s soybean meal import business are Bunge and Cargill. Total soybean meal consumption in the area is about 1.2 millions tons.
The meeting was held at the Segovia Chamber of Commerce. ASFACYL, Castilla León’s feed association, collaborated with USSEC to organize the meeting.
The region’s main feed industries, meat producers, importers, and crushers participated in the meeting, with participants totalling near 50.
The conference began with a presentation related to the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), highlighting U.S. Soy’s quality and sustainability. USSEC consultants Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos and Jan Van Eys talked about soy quality, emphasizing U.S. soybean meal’s quality advantage against that of other origins and other proteins. Discussion of quality control in raw material occupied an important portion of the presentation. Jaime Nolan-Miralles, of FCStone; Pedro Palomo, president and owner of O PALOMO, S.A., a large grain and protein distributor in the region; and USSEC consultant Lola Herrera spoke about international and local markets.
The customers appreciated both the meeting and USSEC’s effort in organizing these types of events, considering them to be good opportunities. They receive relevant information and are able to compare different points of view to improve their business.
The Czech Feed Industry Annual Conference 2016 was a two-day event held in Brno, the center of the Czech Republic’s agricultural and livestock science and commercial activities. USSEC presented the advantages of U.S. soybean meal and derived products to an audience of 150 professionals.
USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateo, University Politechnica Madrid, gave a presentation on the nutritional and economic characteristics of U.S. soybean meal as compared with rapeseed meal, sunflower meal, and dried distiller grains with solubles (DDGs), as well as with soymeals of various origins. USSEC Technical Director – Northeast Europe Jerzy Kosieradzki supported Dr. Mateo during Q & A time and during discussions with the audience during breaks and after sessions.
Alexander Doering, Secretary General of the European Feed Industry Federation (FEFAC), provided a thorough explanation of the many issues the European and global feed/food chains currently face. He also explained that the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) had been positively benchmarked against FEFAC’s Soy Sourcing Guidelines through the independent International Trade Centre (ITC) customized benchmark tool on March 8, 2016. He emphasized a long and faithful cooperation between FEFAC and USSEC, which would lead to providing transparency to interested EU feed associations and member companies who wish to make further progress towards the mainstream market transition for the supply of sustainably produced soy to the EU feed sector.
At a post event meeting, Josef Svoboda, Secretary General of the Czech Grain & Feed Association – SKK, concluded, “All our audience greatly appreciated USSEC’s input provided in the form of a great presentation on how to understand and utilize the differences between these protein-rich feed ingredients and make the most of them in feeding poultry and pigs, and some sponsoring. The U.S. Soy industry’s contribution helped us to make our annual conference a success.”
USSEC followed the latest exports of U.S. soybeans through the feed chain of several European countries during its EU mission. The mission, which spanned March 14-19, set a goal to reinforce the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and demonstrate the U.S. farmer’s commitment to the 28 EU member states, the second largest importer of soybeans in the world. The SSAP was positively benchmarked against the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation’s (FEFAC) Soy Sourcing Guidelines through the independent International Trade Centre (ITC) customized benchmark tool on March 8.
In France, United Soybean Board (USB) and Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) director April Hemmes, USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb and USSEC consultant Lola Herrera visited the SNIA (French Feed Association) in Paris, and toured the Bretagne area, which is the main feed and meat production area in the country, producing more than nine millions tons of feed.
The first stop in Bretagne was in Ancenis at the headquarters of the cooperative Terrena, where the group had a meeting with purchasing manager Franco Pilato and production manager Vincent Demiot.
Terrena is the second co-op in France and Europe’s tenth. They produce feed, meat, and distribute grains and vegetables. They have 22,000 member farmers and 12,159 employees. Terrena’s eight feed plants produce 1.3 million tons feed.
At the second stop of the trip in Rennes, the delegation met with Eric Beaty, the Economic and Commercial Attaché of the United States Consulate for Western France, to discuss the activity in the area.
The group met Laurent Berthelier of Feed Alliance, in his office near Rennes. This company is Sanders’ purchasing brand; they buy raw materials for their company and also for other companies in France. The group purchases about 700,000 metric tons (MT) of soybean meal yearly, with the origin of the soybean meal depending on the replacement price. They know and give value to U.S. soybean meal. Sanders is one of the companies that uses a different matrix for each soybean meal origin in its feed formula. This company is one of the most important feed producers in France and belongs to the Avril Group, one of the main rapeseed crushers and biodiesel producers in Europe.
The last stop of the Bretagne visit was at Saint Nazaire on the Atlantic coast, where most of France’s soybean meal imports arrive. France imports about 3.3 millions tons of soybean meal a year. The group met with Bunge representatives Yvon Pennors, CEO in France, and Christophe Delafon, sales manager. Bunge has a 28 – 30 percent share of the French market. They also sell soybean meal produced at their crushing plants in Spain, Bilbao and Barcelona. Bunge is a main soybean crusher in Europe, at more than 3.5 million tons.
In Paris, the group had a meeting with SNIA’s sustainability team. SNIA is working with the feed and food chains to develop a protocol for the sustainability of all raw materials used in the industry. They asked questions related to sustainability on U.S. farms, where Ms. Hemmes had the opportunity to talk about sustainable U.S. Soy farming methods.
“My recent visit to France and Romania was filled with great opportunities to tell my story of growing soybeans on my farm,” said Ms. Hemmes. “The SNIA was very interested to hear about how I raise my soybeans sustainably and how the farmers in the U.S. care about saving their soil and maintaining water quality for future generations. I loved talking about sustainability in France and hope my story led them to a better understanding of the SSAP.”
On the second part of the European mission, Ms. Hemmes visited Romanian customers along the U.S. Soy import / supply chain: from Constanta Port unloading facilities, to Bunge Prio Oilseeds Crushing Plant to Combial’s Feed Mill and Bona Avis Broiler farms, located in southern Romania. Establishing contacts and building relationships with customers is key in promoting the benefits of U.S. Soy and demonstrating the commitment of U.S. farmers.
“In Romania it was exciting for me to see the progression of U.S. beans being imported into the country. From the Constanta Port where they were unloaded off the ship, then to the Bunge crushing plant, where the soybeans were transformed into soybean meal, to the feed mill that made the feed compound and finally the chickens that ate the feed. Just to think that the soybeans in the chicken feed could have come from my farm in Iowa!” Ms. Hemmes said.
“These missions are very important as everyone learns from the experience, establishes connections with customers and demonstrates U.S. soy farmers’ commitment. I hope I helped the U.S. soybean cause on my first official trip as a USB board member,” she concluded.
The role of USSEC’s technical consultants varies according to the situations they encounter in the field. It ranges between customer service, person-to-person training or group education in animal nutrition and technical advice in the customer’s day-to-day operation. In this regard, the past year’s efforts of USSEC in Southeast European countries in disseminating the latest knowledge and providing access for local nutritionists to high caliber experts led to important improvements in performances of the local feed and meat industries. The Romanian poultry industry has been steadily expanding for the past several years and in the meantime, has achieved excellent performances. It has become a modern and key supplier of poultry products to the local consumer and to a large number of the central and eastern European countries, all while increasing its importance as a consumer of U.S. Soy products.
In a recent dialogue with the Romanian Feed Association, USSEC consultant Dr. Jan van EYS stated, “Animal nutrition today is a fast changing field of information and newly developed scientific knowledge is quickly adopted at the level of the commercial feed mills and farms. As USSEC consultants, we have been striving to transfer the latest knowledge in the field of digestible amino acids and metabolizable energy in soy to regional customers, and we encourage nutritionists to apply these most recent data – and the associated benefits – of U.S. Soy in their formulations.”
Aurelian Zarnescu, the vice president of the Romanian Feed Association added, “By implementing state-of-the-art knowledge and the experience shared by USSEC consultants, our nutritionists are able to put the most recent information into practice and as a result, we are achieving excellent technical and economical performances today, especially in poultry. We believe in a long term, constructive relationship build on trust, and maximum sharing of information. We are sure that our growers will benefit enormously from this. The role of USSEC and its support team is evident.”
Early this year, Bunge Romania imported more than 65,000 metric tons of U.S. Soy, which has largely been used in the Romanian and Bulgarian poultry and swine sectors. For 2016, the U.S. Soy industry is on speed to increase this amount by more than 10 percent. In addition to this progress, we are focusing increased attention to the ruminant and aqua sector, which should help in realizing the set objectives significantly.
USSEC sponsored and organized a risk management seminar and workshop on March 17 and 18 in Istanbul, Turkey.
50 people from Turkey, Romania and Poland attended the conference, which is part of a continuous activity sponsored by USSEC. Seminar participants included feed millers, crushers, poultry integrators, dairy integrators, fish integrators and traders who are key decision-makers in terms of choice of ingredients used in the feed production.
The main objectives of the meeting were to teach the feed producers and traders (including all the integrators) about international trading objectives and the marketing of U.S. Soy and soybean meal, and to increase the share of U.S. Soy in Turkey and other Europe countries.
The use of U.S. Soy in this region is driven by importers and crushers. Many of the crushers, large feed producers, and integrators are not familiar with the trading methods and so they do not really trade, but buy and sell on the same day without doing any hedging, future, and options, etc.
USSEC’s risk management program covered many topics: an overview of world soybean and soybean meal markets; the U.S. grain production and marketing systems; basis of trading and hedging; future markets; principals of futures and options trading; and simulations done about purchasing under the guidance of Robert Breshnahan of Trilateral, Jeffry Kuijpers of the CME Group and Jay O’Neil of Kansas State’s IGP. The clear objective of all presentations, simulations, and interactions with participants was to promote USSEC and U.S. Soy products in terms of real advantages.
The presentations led to a favorable introduction, background, communication and exchanges on or around U.S. soy and soybean meal. All this was resumed in practical points worked out during the last session with simulation examples to address the specific benefits of trading highlighted. Overall, the response of attendees was positive and the multiple questions posed reflected the high level of interest. The discussions during breaks as well as following the Q&A sessions were lively and constructive. Another important point was that the participants were chosen from the real decision makers of the feed industry and included mainly purchasing and trading representatives who decide where to import raw materials. Improving these decision makers’ knowledge with the basis of trading, hedging, and markets will help to increase the share of U.S. Soy.
Continued effort in this region is expected to increase the demand for U.S. Soy and create loyal U.S. Soy customers.
The ongoing consolidation process of Bulgaria’s feed and poultry industries, the latest trends in the oilseeds crushing industry, and proximity to Constanta Port on the Black Sea are key factors in the potential development of the country as a market for U.S. Soy.
The Bulgarian Oilseeds Crushers Association’s annual conference is traditionally organized in the capital city of Sofia. This year, it was jointly conducted with the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) – Sofia. About 70 participants from 19 crusher members of the association attended the event, which took place on February 25 and 26.
Prior to the event, USSEC Regional Consultant – Southeast Europe Iani Chihaia worked with FAS – Sofia agricultural specialist Mila Boshnakova and Nebraska’s Department of Agriculture to put together a U.S. Soy panel with the goal of introducing U.S. soybeans and soybean products. The U.S. panel was a success, attracting the attention and interest of the entire industry and launching the first professional promotion of U.S. soybeans to the local market.
Information about U.S. soybean crushing technology was presented by Plamen Vassilev, a regional technical support engineer from oilseed crushing equipment manufacturer U.S. Crown Iron Works Ltd in response to recent inquiries for the upgrading of plants.
The information presented by Dr. Chihaia was aimed at convincing the audience of the dominance of soybean products in the world, the prospects of soybean and soy products trade, showed the wide range of products that can be produced from soybeans, and emphasized the crushers’ advantages of processing soybeans.
Currently, high production crushing capacity is underused mainly due to the deficit of local sunflower production last year, which will continue to impact the industry for some time. Diversification is the solution and industry leaders are considering alternatives. Although at this stage, soybeans are the forgotten ingredient mainly because of the lack of local production and historical industry experience, the high interest of the Bulgarian industry should make U.S. Soy a feasible alternative in filling gaps and improving efficiency of the local crushers.
“The industry needs to have more knowledge on how to import soybeans in small shipments since a few companies can afford to buy bigger volumes by vessels,” said Dr. Chihaia. “Import logistics is key and careful research is needed about necessary technological plant upgrades and their cost. Thanks to FAS’s invitation to join this yearly event, USSEC had an excellent opportunity to promote U.S. Soy exports and to prove to the local industry that is able to assist the development of the Bulgarian market.”
USSEC conducted a dairy nutrition seminar focused on the use of soy in transition and production diets in Izmir, Turkey on February 11 and 12. About 70 key decision-making nutritionists, farmers and feed manufacturers attended the seminar, which provided information on the choice of feeds and ingredients used in feed production.
The use of U.S. Soy in this region by feed compounders and farmers is important and constitutes a confirmation on the effectiveness of this approach – especially against alternatives. The main objective of the meeting was the marketing of U.S. Soy and soy products and the enhancement of USSEC’ s image in this part of the world. Thus, the program covered a wide array of subjects, each with the potential to link it to the use of soy products in diets/ration. The clear objective of all the talks, presentations and interactions with the attendees was to promote USSEC and U.S. Soy products in terms of real advantages as well as the image. The presentations at the seminar led to a favorable introduction, background, communication and exchange on or around soy issues.
All this was resumed in practical points worked out during the last session with formulation examples to address the specific subjects highlighted. In this session, attention was also paid to quality control parameters and the impact or importance of these in formulation, along with generating savings under current formulation and market conditions.
Overall, the response of attendees was positive and the multiple questions posed reflected the high level of interest. The discussion during breaks as well as following the Q&A sessions were lively and constructive. These participants have been attending USSEC seminars for a significant number of years and some have started dairy operations on the basis – or with the assistance – of USSEC.
Continued effort in this area will increase and safeguard demand for U.S. Soy.
USSEC recently released the report, “Soybean Meal Quality by Origin: Economical Value of Hipro Soybean Meal in Least Cost Formulations.” The 2016 report is based on current (February) and future (May-July) feedstuff prices for feeds of different species and is available online at USSEC’s website or through USSEC’s regional offices worldwide. This report, contracted through Schothurst Feed Research, demonstrates the added value of higher quality soybean meal by origin for different European regions based on current feedstuff prices in feeds for swine, layers and broilers. The study focuses on four regions: Northwestern Europe, Southwestern Europe, Northeastern Europe and Southeastern Europe.
The report emphasizes that even though soybean meal is sold on a per unit of protein basis, differences in digestible energy and amino acid content contribute more to the value of soybean meal and that differences in value are largest for broiler feeds followed by layer and swine feeds in all regions. The report also shows that soybean meal prices have continued to decrease in most regions. Currently, prices of synthetic amino acids like L Lysine, L Threonine and L Thryptophan have increased and the DL Methionine price is still high, which adds extra value to high(er) quality Hipro soybean meal. The value of Hipro soybean meal from the United States increases with high prices of synthetic amino acids because of a higher digestible amino acid content.
On an equal protein content basis, the value differences (in energy, mineral and digestible amino acid content) of U.S. soybean meal over that of other origins is: € 9.60-16.50 (U.S. vs. Brazil) and € 9.90-18.10/ metric ton (MT) (U.S. vs. Argentina) or respectively 2.9-5.1 percent and 3.0-5.6 percent.
To view the report on the USSEC website, please click here.
In 2015, Poland was once again the largest producer of poultry in Europe reaching over 2.3 million metric tons (MMT) of the meat in industry estimates, which was 10 percent higher than the previous year. In the current year, the average Pole is forecasted to eat 29.5 kilogram (kg) of poultry meat, 0.5 kg more than the previous year. For comparison, in 2008, the figure was about 24 kg per capita.
As the director general of the Polish Poultry Council, Łukasz Dominiak, explains, local poultry meat consumption has been growing continuously, but at a slower pace than production, and expanding exports is necessary.
Thanks to foreign sales, mainly to other EU countries, but also to Africa and Asia, the Polish poultry industry has been rapidly growing. 40 percent of Poland’s poultry output goes to export markets, up 17 percent from last year.
USSEC Technical Director – Northeast Europe Jerzy Kosieradzki recalls how in recent years, USSEC has invested a considerable amount of the U.S. Soy industry’s resources into programs supporting the Polish poultry sector’s growth and development. Initially, the managers and technical specialists representing Polish broiler and turkey companies were invited to foreign poultry shows such as the International Poultry Exhibition (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia, or poultry production team visits to the U.S. Now, most USSEC support focuses on poultry nutrition and feed manufacturing, where Polish specialists are provided with first class know-how at national poultry feeding seminars and conferences, feed formulation training courses, feed ingredient purchasing educational programs, broiler and layer field visits held in western European countries, in-company consultations with internationally renowned experts, and sponsored trips to various soy trade conferences held in the U.S. and Europe.
The consequent work of U.S. Soy envoys in this sixth largest European country to rebuild its poultry and feed industry after its collapse a couple of decades ago began paying off a few years ago resulting in rapidly growing soybean meal utilization, which is counted today in millions of tons, with resumed purchases from the U.S. In recent years, Poland has been buying between 150 and 350 thousand metric tons (TMT) of U.S. meal a year, depending on the international soy markets. More work is needed to secure sustainable market share for U.S. Soy in this market and USSEC is determined to meet this challenge.
On February 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 67,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans were shipped to Romania, showing the interest of local crushers in sourcing quality protein to answer the demand and growth in efficiency and sophistication of Romania and Bulgaria’s local feed industries. The past year’s feed production numbers from these countries demonstrate an improvement in feed conversion rates for both broilers and pigs and, as a result of better practices, in animal nutrition and farms management.
A January 2016 editorial in the Romanian Feed Association’s magazine stated, “It is very tempting to substitute ingredients in the feed formulation process, especially under the current market situation, when there is a down trend in feedstuffs prices worldwide. However, we have to stay focused on getting the best efficiency rates in feed and animal production because of fierce competition and a highly regulated EU market.”
“This is possible only by using quality ingredients and soy is the key when we discuss amino acids and energy. In order to be able to differentiate between ingredients, nutritionists need knowledge and practice,” said Daniela Valdescu, quality control manager at one of Romania’s largest broiler integrators. “Thanks to USSEC, the Romanian nutritionists had access to the latest information and high caliber experts helped us to understand the value of the U.S. Soy.”
Processing U.S. soybeans provides several advantages for oilseeds processors since crushing soybeans produces more meal and less oil compared to processing sunflower and rapeseed, which is higher in oil yield.
The demand for quality protein feedstuffs from the Romanian and Bulgarian crushing and feed industries is expected to increase this year. Both countries will continue to rely on sizable amounts of soy imports to fill domestic use needs.