News: Middle East / North Africa
USSEC worked closely with the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to arrange a visit to a fish farm in Egypt for members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies on February 22.
The visit included the following members from the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies: Rachel Santos, professional staff; Carlisle Clarke, majority clerk; Patrick Carroll, professional staff; and Jessica Schulken, minority clerk.
The visit also included members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) / FAS: Chris Church, Director, Legislative Affairs; Ronald Verdonk, Minister-Counselor; and Dr. Ahmed Wally, Agricultural Specialist.
Essam el Barabary, a prominent member of the Egyptian aquaculture industry, hosted the visitors at his farm in Burg el Arab outside of Alexandria.
Hussain Mansour, chief executive of Aller Aqua Egypt, an Egyptian-Danish partnership company, also attended the tour. Aller Aqua is among the top aqua feed producers in Egypt with a production capacity up to 150,000 metric tons of extruded feed, making the company the largest feed producer in Egypt.
During the visit, Mr. Essam explained the production strategy for the farm and the advantage of having good water quality. He explained that water quality at the farm has enabled him to produce a variety of fish species including tilapia, mullet, sea bass, and European eel. Mr. Essam said that the feed for the farm is supplied predominantly from Aller Aqua.
Mr. Hussain explained that Egypt ranks eighth in terms of world aquaculture production, second in the production of tilapia, and first in mullet production. He also stressed the importance of using high quality raw material in feed production and that his preference to use U.S. soybean meal is for its digestibility and consistent quality. He stated that the quality attributes of U.S. soybean meal are clearly visible upon physical evaluation of the product.
During the discussion, Mr. Hussain pointed out that digestibility of U.S. soybean meal, measured by protein solubility (KOH) was clearly demonstrated during a feed trial that was conducted during 2013, which was sponsored by USSEC and implemented at WorldFish. At that time, Aller Aqua produced the feed according to the parameters and formulation provided by USSEC, primarily the use of U.S soybean meal in the diet. Mr. Hussain went on to explain that the growth rate achieved during the trial is due to the highly digestible protein content of U.S. soybeans.
USSEC Country Representative – Egypt Salah Taher, who organized the visit together with USDA/FAS, explained to the committee members that building a preference for U.S. Soy in the Egyptian aquaculture industry is a continuous effort that the USSEC team has been promoting through close cooperation with the aqua industry. Seminars, feed trials, and one-on-one technical visits are among the tools used by USSEC to demonstrate the advantage of using U.S. Soy.
Mr. Salah went on to explain the scale of the Egyptian aquaculture, an industry that produces 1.2 million metric tons (MMT) of fish annually and is the primary source of protein for 90 million Egyptians. Per capita consumption of fish is currently 21 kilograms (kg) higher than the per capita world average, which is approximately 19 kg.
Mr. Essam also hosted a luncheon, which was served in a traditional Egyptian tent. During lunch, Mr. Essam and his colleagues presented a number of general topics, including the importance of developing a cold chain and cold storage to overcome the price fluctuation that results from seasonality of supply.
Discussions focused on the quality, consistency and sustainability of U.S. Soy during the 5th U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange for Europe – Middle East/North Africa (EU/MENA) during the recent conference in Lisbon, Portugal. More than 180 customers and 15 USSEC members from 32 countries gathered to discuss the global soy market situation and expectations for the feed and food industry for Europe and the Middle East. USSEC’s two-day conference is one of the few events combining the soy industry throughout those regions and leading soy crushers, feed companies, and poultry and livestock producers were in attendance.
Conference presenters highlighted the importance of the Europe and Middle East market with data showing that EU-28 and Russia represented the top three countries in poultry and pork production growth since 2010, behind only the U.S. Additionally, 13 of the top 30 global feed-producing countries are in Europe and MENA and were represented at the USSEC conference. With one-third of the global gross domestic product (GDP), this region continues to increase its soy consumption and remains highly competitive in poultry and pork production.
USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Todd Gibson, American Soybean Association (ASA) director Bill Wykes, and USB director Andy Fabin highlighted the sustainability of U.S. Soy in their presentations. Each emphasized the sustainability practices of his farm and his production expectations for the upcoming growing season.
Regional customers noted their appreciation in hearing about soy production straight from the producers. USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb stressed the importance of the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and the positive environmental indicators of U.S. Soy production. Nick Major, representing FEFAC, the European Feed Association, discussed the importance of sustainability to consumers and retailers in the Europe market. The SSAP meets the benchmark of FEFAC’s soy sourcing guidelines and is a welcome source of sustainable soy supply for the European market. The EU is one of the major users of the SSAP certification system, which now totals over 6.7 million tons in export shipments this marketing year, over 10 percent of U.S. Soy exports.
USSEC recently hosted a seminar in Egypt to introduce the principles of quality analysis in soybeans to the country’s aquafeed industry. A total of 60 participants attended the event, representing the top aquaculture feed mill and aqua produces.
Ronald Verdonk, Minster-Counselor, Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Cairo inaugurated the seminar. In his opening speech, Mr. Verdonk stressed the importance of the agriculture and trade relationships between Egypt and the United States and the role that FAS plays in promoting U.S agriculture exports. He also applauded the developments that the Egyptian aquaculture industry has witnessed in the last decade, citing the rapid and continuous development of the sector.
USSEC consultant Dr. Jan van Eys, the keynote speaker at the event, commented, “It is a delight to come back to Egypt and see the progress being made in aqua production and the feed industry in general. Many challenges remain but there is a clear and discernable progress in the understanding of the key areas that contribute to efficient aqua and livestock production. This is very clear where it concerns the feed industry and the utilization of ingredients such as soy products. Control of ingredient quality and formulation have clearly become key components of improved feed production and thus of the livestock productivity of as a whole and aqua production in particular. USSEC has greatly contributed to this positive development and logically sees its efforts rewarded in a continuous increase in the use of U.S.-originated soy products.”
During the seminar, Professor Mohamed Fathy Osman delivered a presentation on fish nutrition and highlighted the difference between crude protein, digestible protein, and amino acid profile when formulating a least-cost diet. Professor Fathy also stressed the importance of cooking raw materials and extrusion technology as a method of improving digestibility and feed efficacy.
Guest speaker Dr. Alaa Badr, product manager at Skretting Nutreco, concluded the seminar by delivering a presentation on the importance of quality control in feed production. He stressed the impact of high quality raw material in the manufacturing process to guarantee high quality feed.
Dr. Badr also highlighted the importance of traceability of ingredients as well as the final product. Quality standards for different raw materials and the importance of controlling the inflow of raw material by using near infrared (NIR) as a method for accurate formulation and controlling the quality of received raw materials and final product, while minimizing the risk of mycotoxins by using rapid analysis method when receiving raw materials. This is a standard procedure conducted before manufacturing to protect the quality of the final product.
In the days following the seminar, the USSEC team conducted three one-on-one industry visits with aquafeed mills to provide the necessary support for the adoption of soy quality parameters in feed manufacturing.
In 2015, Egypt’s aquaculture industry produced 1.3 million metric tons (MMT) of fish, consuming approximately 1 million tons of soybean meal. As the industry grows, the Egyptian economy faces new challenges.
In November 2016, the Egyptian pound, which was traditionally pegged to the U.S. dollar, was floated; that move has reduced the value of the pound by almost 50 percent, impacting the price of ingredients for the aqua industry and, consequently, the price of aqua feed.
To assist the Egyptian aqua industry, USSEC consultant Tim O’Keefe of Aqua-Food Technologies, traveled to Egypt to meet with top aquafeed producers to provide insights on least cost formulations as a means to control the soaring prices of feed.
USSEC Aquaculture Contractor – Egypt Salah Taher accompanied Mr. O’Keefe during his visit. The two met with representatives from Skretting, Aller Aqua, Cairo Poultry Group, and Koudjis Kapo.
Through these meetings, the team learned that the prices of fish have increased to meet the increasing cost production. The Egyptian aquaculture market is expected to continue growing at 8 to 10 percent each year as Egyptians continue to favor the consumption of fish over poultry and beef.
The Egyptian per capita consumption of fish in 2015 accounted for 21 kilograms (kg) per capita higher than the world average, which is approximately 19 kg per capita.
A second visit is scheduled in May 2017 to deliver training on least cost formulations for aqua feeds.
Sutas, a USSEC customer and Turkey’s largest dairy producer, opened its third integrated dairy facility in Izmir, Turkey on December 23 with an investment of $80 million.
Sutas processes 2,200 tons of milk daily and produces 360,000 tons of dairy feed yearly. The company enjoys a 15 percent market share for milk in Turkey with gross sales in 2015 of 2.3 billion Turkish lira (TL) and 2.6 billion TL in 2016.
The investment in Sutas’ new facilities is about $80 million U.S. dollars (USD) and they will process 1000 tons of milk and produce 600 tons per day of feed, along with 6.4 megawatts of electricity and 100 tons of organic fertilizer. Sutas is already collecting 2,200 tons of milk with 8 percent of this amount is coming from their owned dairy farms and the rest collected from 28,000 farmers in different parts of Turkey.
The president, prime minister, minister of agriculture and many other government ministers attended the opening of the new facilities. Sutas executives present included Mr. Yilmaz, president; Mr. Tezel, vice president; and Mrs. Serpil Veral, CEO.
One of Sutas’ main goals in this investment is to export its products to Russia. Russia was importing €5 billion worth of dairy products before the embargo from EU countries, but is now importing these products from Argentina and Brazil. Turkey is producing a large amount of dairy products that they currently export to Russia and Japan, but they will now be producing different types of dairy products giving them a greater opportunity in these markets.
Sutas also acquired dairy companies in Romania and Macedonia and invested $20 million USD in those companies to supply dairy products to the EU. Turkey is currently not allowed to export dairy products to the EU.
Sutas has been in the dairy business for three generations and celebrates its 41st year in the business this year. Their integrated business model is “from the grass to the table” and they opened their first facility in Karacabey /Bursa in 2004 using this model. Since that time, they have invested $620 million USD in this business with 3 facilities. With the new facility, they are estimated to grow 50 percent in 2016.
Sutas is a very good partner to USSEC who regularly participates in USSEC’s events in Turkey and events in other countries, such as the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in the U.S. While many companies are holding their investments in Turkey at this time, Sutas’ investment in Izmir is noteworthy. USSEC congratulates SUTAS for its new investment and trust in the dairy business and the consumption of dairy products.
Ozpekler Trout Company, a customer and supporter of USSEC, will build a fish feed plant in Denizli, Turkey with the first double screw extruder in the country.
Ozpekler Company produces trout, exporting all its production to Europe. The company partners with a Dutch firm for its marketing in the EU. They produce around 5000 tons of trout each year in 5 facilities in the western part of Turkey. The company already has a hatchery, grow-out farms in lakes and concrete pools, and a processing plant, but was missing a feed plant to complete its integration. With this investment, they will become an integrated company.
Ozpekler, the third largest trout producer in Turkey, attends USSEC’s many aqua events in Turkey and in the U.S., including the Kansas State aquafeed manufacturing course, Idaho farm visits, and USSEC’s regional aqua investment conference in Dubai.
As a result of USSEC’s efforts, Ozpekler decided to build its own feed factory, which will have a double screw extruder, the first in Turkey, allowing them to use less starch in their feed and achieving a higher protein content, consuming more U.S. Soy. The company will also have a pulverizer, which will allow them to produce larval feed for baby fish. The location of the feed mill will be in Denizli where Ozpekler has its head office and all other facilities. The capacity of the feed mill will be five tons per hour of extruded feed.
On December 6, USSEC organized a feed formulation course in Casablanca, Morocco. The one-day event, held for the first time in Morocco’s market, bought together 15 nutritionists and feed formulators from 11 feed mills covering about 50 percent of compound poultry feed production.
The goal of the course was to increase knowledge and improve the usage of U.S. Soy products and help differentiate soybean meal of different origins in feed formulation.
USSEC consultant and formulation expert Sirri Khayan presented feed formulation and purchasing planning for profitable feed production to selected young professionals from different companies. He insisted on setting different matrices for meals from different origins. Based on his experience in other markets of the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region, Mr. Khayan optimized several poultry diets simultaneously using full fat soybean, U.S. soybean meal and soy oil.
Feed mills are increasingly interested in getting maximum value from the ingredients they use. Developing formulations based on digestible nutrient values of soybean meal by origin leads to better poultry nutrition. Benchmarking every step of poultry feed production and multi-diet formulation helps improve overall profitability.
Improving knowledge on the nutrient supply of U.S. soybean meal such as higher lysine content and availability, along with consistent quality, ultimately leads to increased preference for U.S. Soy.
USSEC continues to improve knowledge of U.S. soybean products’ customers. The short course helped achieve its goal in educating young professionals by allowing them to gain more experience in poultry feed formulation and soybean meal differentiation by origin.
USSEC jointly organized a soybean meal quality Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) workshop for Morocco’s leading feed mills with local feed association AFAC on November 29 and 30. Nineteen participants, including quality control specialists and nutritionists, represented major feed companies. The main objectives of the one-on-one workshop were to assist feed mill laboratory managers to properly evaluate U.S. soybean meal composition using the available NIR technologies and increase understanding of its specific value compared to soybean meals of other origins.
An expert and a consultant visited leading feed and turkey producers, holding technical discussions that highlighted the benefits of this technology in improving the quality control of ingredients and compound feed. The visits showed the high value of the U.S. soybean meal and companies’ efforts to take full advantage of its nutritional quality.
Dr. Ir Pierre Dardenne, expert at the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre in Belgium, gave a presentation preceding the visits.
Improving knowledge in calibration, data validation, and statistical interpretation of analytical results contributes to better use of the nutrients supplied by soybean meal.
USSEC continue to sustain demand for U.S. Soy and develop the loyalty of leading customers. The Morocco market imports U.S. soybeans, soy hulls, soybean oil and meal. Poultry remains the primary driver of Morocco’s soybean meal market.
Egypt has long been the largest market for U.S. Soy in the Middle East and North Africa, and USSEC programs have supported strong growth in the Egyptian crushing, poultry, dairy, and aquaculture industries.
Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA, along with USSEC regional consultant Mousa Wakileh, recently traveled to Cairo and Alexandria to meet with local soy industry contacts. Two years ago, Egypt imported over 26 million bushels of U.S. Soy, but that number fell to only 11 million bushels last year due to local import authorities’ concerns on weed seeds and the limited availability of foreign currency. On the first day of visits, however, the group received good news that a solution for importing U.S. Soy was reached and normal imports could restart, and so Egypt has already received its first Panamax vessel of U.S. Soy. USSEC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture worked closely with the Egyptian soy industry and government officials to resolve the issues limiting U.S. Soy imports.
Mr. Babb and Mr. Wakileh met with the Egyptian Poultry Industry in Cairo to review recent joint programs and discuss opportunities for future collaboration. Along with feed formulation and the proper valuation of U.S. Soy amino acids, the group discussed ongoing poultry disease issues limiting profitability in the local industry. In 2016, USSEC sponsored poultry disease training at the University of Florida and plans to continue the training in 2017.
Alexandria is home to major soy industry activity in Egypt, and meetings were held at two new and expanding facilities. The Wadi Group hosted to the team at their port facility, which is jointly owned with ADM. Wadi is one of the largest soy crushers in Egypt, along with poultry and aquaculture production. Additionally, Alex Seeds showed their new crushing and soy oil bottling facility, which expands their crush facility to 5,000 tons per day.
A soy industry dinner at Wadi Group Alexandria Egypt port facility – Nile Stevedoring and Storage Company concluded the Egypt visit. 25 attendees, including the largest soybean crushers, feed millers, and poultry producers attended, along with Ron Verdonk, Counselor at U.S. Embassy, Cairo.
USSEC and Virginia Tech’s dairy science department cooperated to conduct a technical dairy training session, “Concentrating on New Technologies to Increase Efficiencies” from October 2 – 9.
Participants hailed from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey. USSEC consultant Sirri Kayhan escorted the 23 visitors representing the Middle East dairy industry.
The first part of the training was held in Roanoke, Virginia. During this session, genomics or DNA testing was discussed along with upcoming changes in the Nutrition Research Council’s (NRC) nutrient requirements for dairy cows.
Dr. Charles Stallings, professor emeritus of dairy science, gave a lecture, “The U.S. and Virginia Dairy Industries: What is Driving the Changes?” Dr. Bennet Cassell, professor emeritus of dairy science, spoke on “The Genomic Revolution or How Changes in Measuring Genes Have Changed Genetic Improvement.” After lunch, participants listened to results from nutrition research at Virginia Tech, given by Dr. Mark Hanigan, professor of dairy science.
The following day, the group toured Virginia Tech’s new dairy facilities and visited the Florey dairy farm in Dublin where they saw a demonstration of robotic milking.
The group then traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to attend the World Dairy Expo.
USSEC held its second regional aquaculture investment conference in Dead Sea, Jordan from September 23 – 26. More than 70 aquaculture professionals attended the conference from 7 different countries, including Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Participants represented major aquaculture producers and aquaculture feed millers.
American Soybean Association (ASA) director Mark Jackson and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz represented U.S. soybean farmers at the event.
Several speakers from different parts of the world gave talks on processing quality aquafeed, least cost formulation, small scale aqua operation, soy global supply and demand, aquafeed safety and extrusion, advancement in preconditioning and drying of aqua feed, aquaculture systems innovation, and the aqua industry from the Middle East and other regions.
Speakers included: Jesse Chappell, Associate Professor, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture & Sciences, Auburn University; Ramesh G, Technical Sales Advisor, Aqua Feed Division –Worldwide, Wenger Manufacturing Inc.; Michael Martin, Regional Sales Director, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Insta-Pro International; Colby Sutter, USSEC Marketing Director – International Aquaculture / Customer Focus; Suleiman Al Qura’an, Senior Communication Officer, Jordan Investment Commission; Mian Riaz, Director, Food Protein R&D Center, Texas A&M University; John C. Baize, President, John C. Baize and Associates; Tony Freiji, Group President and CEO, Wadi Group; and Sirri Kayhan, USSEC Consultant.
The high level of audience participation and networking was a measure of the success of the event, which comes at a time when countries throughout the region are expanding their seafood production in response to consumer demand and food security concerns.
USSEC has developed long-term relationships with Texas A&M University, Auburn University, Insta-Pro International, and Wenger Manufacturing Inc., where they cooperate to develop international soybean and soybean product markets.
Dr. Riaz gave two talks titled, “How to Make Quality Feed Using Extrusion Technology” and “Aquafeed Safety and Extrusion Processing.” In the past, Dr. Riaz has spoken on soybean processing and aquafeed extrusion at other USSEC conferences in the MENA region. USSEC has sent participants from all over the world to attend aquafeed extrusion short courses offered by the Food Protein Research and Development Center at Texas A&M.
Mr. Martin commented, “As an industry member of USSEC, Insta-Pro appreciates USSEC’s continuing commitment to grow the aquaculture market in the MENA region and is grateful for the opportunity to participate in this highly effective event. Soybeans are critical to the success of aquafeed production [here] and this is clearly understood by the conference participants.”
After the conference, the USSEC delegation visited two fish farms in the Jordan Valley.
In Tunisia, feed formulation is mainly based on imported maize and soybeans, with a low inclusion level of other ingredients and byproducts such as wheat bran, barley, dried distiller grains with solubles (DDGs), and vegetable oils, among others. Optimization of feed formulation and quality control is crucial in the Tunisian feed industry because it is a highly competitive market with low profit margins.
Near infra red spectro-photometry (NIRS) technology is now routinely used for the evaluation of raw materials and the control of compound feed quality in Tunisia’s major feed companies. In this context, and in order to increase local awareness of U.S. Soy’s sustainable high quality, to improve the understanding of the value of soybean meals of different origins, and educating the local industries to appreciate valuable raw material, USSEC held a Near Infrared Spectroscopy Workshop on September 8 in Tunis, Tunisia. Sixteen participants, including laboratory technicians and nutritionists using NIRS technology representing major feed companies and reference laboratories, attended this event.
This event was hosted by GIPAC, the National Poultry Association, in their Tunis headquarters. The GIPAC institution has always enjoyed a fruitful partnership with USSEC. Dr. Denis Bastianelli, an expert in NIRS technology from CIRAD Research Institute, France, conducted the workshop. He gave three presentations: an introduction on NIRS technology; the use of NIRS technology in animal nutrition; and NIRS techniques used in the laboratory and online NIRS equipment.
He pointed out that Tunisian company laboratories generally use a generic calibration provided by their equipment (spectrometers) suppliers, without having a complete control on the reliability of the results used. NIRS could also most likely be used in a wider range of applications. The training aimed to present NIRS technique, its potential, its limitations, and the conditions of its implementation in the industry. A very productive discussion also took place amongst participants.
On September 9, Dr. Riadh Karma, USSEC Technical and Commercial Consultant for Tunisia, escorted Dr. Bastianelli on a field visit of two major new feed mills located in Jebel Oust; both of the feed mills are using NIRS technology equipment.
The first visit was to Nutrimix SNA’s (Poulina Group Holding) new feed mill, which is a top level mill equipped to produce 400 metric tons (MT) per day per plant. At this plant, a new extrusion facility of 24 MT per hour is being constructed, in addition to a 30,000 MT soybean storage facility.
The second visit was to a small plant called ALFA / Medimix Nord with a smaller capacity of 10 MT per hour.
During the plant and laboratory visits, Dr. Bastianelli and Dr. Karma actively participated with their customers in very interesting discussions on the benefits of this technology to improve ingredients and compound feed quality control, especially in matters of the use of soybean meal.
A team of ten major traders from the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region visited Washington D.C. on August 29, prior to the 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange.
The series of industry visits was arranged by USSEC in cooperation with the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the United Soybean Board (USB).
The group first met with Mark Smith, International Marketing Specialist at the Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), before meeting with Mark Miller, International Programs Office Director, of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Mr. Miller first provided a background and overview of NASS operations, which provide timely, accurate, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture, before discussing U.S. data collection methods, prospective plantings, yield forecasting process, and stocks analysis.
The delegation next spoke with Justin Choe, Oilseeds Analyst at the Office of Global Analysis (OGA). Mr. Choe provided a background on FAS global agriculture analysis, went over global supply and demand reports, and discussed global collection methods and supply/demand reporting and analysis system, in addition to providing market intelligence, forecasting and analysis. He also spoke about how data is processed, analyzed, forecast, and shared.
Maria Rakhovskaya, International Marketing Specialist at FAS, talked about the primary roles of FAS, the Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs (OASA) and the Plant Division before George Galasso, National Trade Director, Grains Programs, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) spoke to them.
USDA Grain Marketing Specialist Jennifer Weiland spoke on behalf of the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) and Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GPISA) about the ragweed and ambrosia import issue in Egypt.
Jonathan Doster, Branch Chief of FAS’s Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102) spoke to the MENA team about how the program works. The GSM-102 provides credit guarantees that can encourage financing to importers and promotes the exports of U.S. soybeans and soybean products.
Several of the MENA importers provided feedback, saying that the meetings gave them additional insight into making more informed business decisions.
“For a long time, we follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports and we time our calendar for buying and hedging with these reports. Visiting the USDA in Washington was very beneficial to the MENA team. It gave the team a closer look of how the reports are prepared. The speakers explained the confidentiality of the information before issuing the report. Also, they explained the big effort in issuing the reports and the accuracy of them. Mr. Justin Choe explained how the USDA analyzes the data they receive domestically and globally. It is amazing to see that so many people are involved in getting the reports on time and so much work is done to make it as accurate as possible. Overall, our visit to Washington was successful and very much educational to all the team members.”
– Ammar Bardan
“I would like to extend to you my utmost thanks for inviting me to the Global Trade Exchange in Indianapolis. Further, I would like to thank you even more for the meeting at the USDA. The opportunity to sit face-to-face with the people who greatly affect my business decisions 12 times a year has proven enlightening. Though I didn’t see eye-to-eye with them, it still gave me a closer idea as to how they formulate their numbers, and having known that, I can plan future business decisions accordingly. Thank you again, and I hope that you present me with this opportunity again when possible.”
– Shehab Ghoniem
“First, I would like to thank you so much for the opportunity you opened for our company to meet the USDA team in Washington (FGIS/APHIS teams). The negotiation we had gave us the opportunity to better understand the problem with the Egyptian government regarding the ambrosia. We had a better understanding of the U.S. point of view, and it was a good chance to show our point of view! We hope to continue those fruitful meetings and keep channels opened that will positively help us solving such issues!”
– Amir Wasef
“The USDA meeting was very well organized and well structured. It exceeded our expectations concerning the in depth discussion on the following topics, which shows the high interest of the USDA for Egypt and the Middle East region.
“The programs offered from the USDA will give the importers and traders a great opportunity to expand their business, especially the GSM program.
The quality assurance procedures presented during the meeting shows how much the USDA is taking all necessary measures to ensure that the exported commodities from the U.S. region pass through several levels of sampling and checking to avoid any below standards quality passing.
The presentation of the procedures taken from the USDA to prepare the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report (WASDE) grains and oilseeds crop reports.
The challenges that face imports of U.S. products to Egypt, e.g. the ambrosia and ragweed restrictions and discussions around how the USDA is interacting with CMPQ in Egypt.”
– Ahmed Nabil
While the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange formed the core of the visit of some 78 customers from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, their trip to the U.S. was extended by several days so that they could acquaint themselves with the U.S. grain marketing and shipping system. The group, accompanied by grower leaders and USSEC staff, traveled to Louisiana and met with Blue Water Shipping Group, who provided the customers with an overview of U.S. corn and soybean production, moving the commodities from inland locations down the Mississippi River and its tributaries to export terminals in New Orleans, and/or transportation by rail and/or road to the Pacific Northwest or East Coast export facilities.
This presentation and discussions focusing on the U.S. grain shipping system, proven to be the most reliable, efficient, and cost-effective, set the stage for USSEC’s international partners to tour the grain export terminals located on the Mississippi River in Louisiana by boat. The excellent weather allowed the group to travel in two motor boats to see the barges coming down the Mississippi River, a few grain export terminals unloading the barges, foreign cargo vessels being loaded with various commodities produced in the U.S., and these vessels setting off for overseas export markets.
This additional time spent in the U.S. was valuable for the EU/MENA buyers, because it supplemented theoretical knowledge gathered at the 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange and relationships established at the accompanying trade show with some practical experience.
Visiting the city of New Orleans was also a very special social and cultural experience for USSEC’s partners operating in EU/MENA region.
The Northeast European participants were extremely happy with the Louisiana portion of the team travel project and Wojciech Zarzycki, Chief Purchasing Officer of DeHeus (second largest feed compounder in Poland), concluded that the study tour of grain export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico was a very important professional experience to him, which he especially enjoyed doing by boat.
USSEC organized one-on-one extrusion training at MEDIMIX and SNA, the two largest feed companies in Tunisia, on August 17 and 18. These companies are Tunisia’s two largest poultry integrators and have been using full fat soybean meal (FFSBM) for about four years.
USSEC consultant, Dr. Mian Riaz, Director- Food Protein Research & Development Center at Texas A & M University, visited the two extrusion units at MEDIMIX and SNA and trained the nutritionist, engineers and technicians of both companies, giving advanced presentations on soybean extrusion, as well as on animal waste extrusion. In addition to technical aspects, training emphasized the high value of U.S. Soy and its sustained amino acid profile. A field visit allowed Dr. Riaz to give the staff advice on process and maintenance. Discussions on new uses in animal waste extrusion, extruded pet food, and fish feed using soybean meal interested the both companies’ staff for current and future potential new investments.
Mohamed Chikhaoui, the general manager of Poulina Group Holding’s (PGH) four SNA feed mills, announced the start of the construction of a new extrusion unit (24 one ton per hour extruders) and a 30,000 metric ton (MT) bean storage facility during his meeting with Dr. Riaz and Riadh Karma, USSEC Technical and Commercial Consultant – Tunisia.
These two working days, one at each company, helped increased the awareness of quality of U.S. Soy, improved the understanding of the value of U.S. soybean meal compared to other origins, and educated the main local companies on how they could improve their extrusion process.
USSEC recently provided technical services for full fat soybean meal in Egypt and Jordan.
Dr. Mian Riaz, director of the Food Protein Research & Development Center and head of the Extrusion Technology Program for the nutrition and food science department at Texas A&M University, visited Cairo, Egypt and Amman, Jordan from August 13 – 15.
In Jordan, Dr. Riaz visited Atrab International Trading Co. and Al Jazeera Poultry Company to discuss full fat soy and its quality. Al Jazeera is in the process of building a new feed mill and wanted to know about soybean processing and whether it should be made separate or part of the feed mill.
In Egypt, Dr. Riaz visited Wadi Holding Co. and inspected their original feed mill. Currently, the company has three extruders making full fat soybean meal and is planning to install a new extruder at its extraction plant facility at a different location. Dr. Riaz gave a presentation on the mechanical processing of soybeans, as the company is interested in building a new plant in Ethiopia for soybean processing. He showed a video about full fat soybean processing and quality and discussed in detail their drawing and new site for full fast soybean production. Dr. Riaz also discussed the opportunity to make texturized soy protein for meat application. Wadi is planning to start businesses devoted to pet food, aquafeed and shrimp feed.
Next, Dr. Riaz visited Pyramid Poultry in Sadat City. This feed mill is in the process of installing 36 new extruders with presses to produce mechanically expelled soybean meal for poultry. Currently, they are building their factory, and then they will start making full fat and express meal. Pyramid has already bought all the extruders and presses needed for their operation. They are currently making full fat soybean meal with one Turkish extruder for their poultry feed. Dr. Riaz provided their staff with information about the quality of soybean meal, processing, and extrusion parameters. He also showed video on the production of full fat and express meal. The company is interested in refining soybean oil from their mechanically expelled operation and has already purchased the refining equipment, which they will install after the completion of their facility.
Dr. Riaz visited the Egyptian Poultry Association and gave an extrusion seminar for making feed, which was very well attended by representatives from the poultry industry.
Finally, Dr. Riaz visited Cairo Poultry feed operation. At this time, the company is using Chinese extruders to make full fat soy and they recently installed an expander for full fat soybean production. Dr. Riaz gave a presentation on full fat soybean processing and its quality parameters and explained the principles of operation of dry and wet extruders as well as expanders. More than 15 staff from the Cairo feed mill attended Dr. Riaz’s seminar.
USSEC recently organized the first meetings on aquafeed in Morocco. These one-on-one visits with operation managers focused on the use of U.S. soybean protein concentrates (SPC), soybean meal, and lecithin in aquafeeds.
USSEC consultant and aquafeed expert Tim O’Keefe presented the benefits of sound aquaculture based on sustainable feed resources, highlighting the importance of U.S. soy protein concentrate in different fish species’ diets. The nutritive value of U.S. Soy products and their advantages in feed formulation for different species were highlighted, confirming that soybean products offer the amino acids and digestible energy needed.
Several aquaculture development projects supervised by the National Agency for Aquaculture Development (French acronym ANDA) will contribute to improve resources’ sustainability; promote aqua farming, processing, and marketing; upgrade value chain components; and improve competitiveness and overall performance. The need to produce good quality aquafeed based on soy products as fish resources decrease was emphasized.
A total production of 200,000 metric tons of aqua products in Morocco is projected for 2020, contributing to sustainable economic growth and increasing its contribution to local gross domestic product (GDP). The minimum amount of soybean meal in aqua feed is projected to be an addition 40,000 metric tons (MT) by 2020, and about 60,000 to 80,000 MT, when SPC is readily available.
- Visiting Happy Fish company
- Workshop at ANDA
With the support of FAS’s Cairo office, USSEC has worked with poultry producers in the Middle East region for several years, focusing on the economic benefits of using high quality U.S. soybean products. Soybean meal is becoming the major source of high-quality protein used in poultry feed, replacing protein sources from animal origins. Using U.S. soybean meal, poultry producers are promoting their processed chicken as raised on a vegetarian diet, which they sell at a premium price in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Many Middle Eastern consumers seek out poultry products produced using vegetarian diets for a variety of cultural and health-based reasons. In the Middle East region, soybeans have a strong reputation as a healthy product driving consumer preference for chicken raised on vegetarian meal rather than animal-based proteins. USSEC has been working closely with crushers in the region to help them with dehulling; improving the quality of both soybean meal and soybean oil; improving their ability to manage risk; and marketing their products in the region. Crushing plants in Egypt are mainly importing U.S. soybeans (55 percent U.S. market share in 2014/15). They then export their products of soybean meal and soybean oil to the neighboring countries in the region. Crushers prefer U.S. soybeans due to consistent quality and availability. Their customers also prefer the quality of soybean meal and soybean oil produced from U.S. soybeans.
USSEC held dairy nutrition seminars in cooperation with West Central (Wilmar, MN), Ag Processing, Inc, AGP (Omaha, NE), and Fornazor International (Hillsdale, NJ), covering the ins and outs of container logistics for bypass soybean meal AminoPlus®, a value-added product, from the U.S. to the Middle East. Many dairy farms in the Middle East have started to import AminoPlus® and SoyPlus® from AGP and West Central in containers. AminoPlus® is produced by AG Processing Inc., exported by Fornazor, and distributed by a Saudi company Nutriplus Commodities. Fornazor exports 40,000 metric tons (MT) of AminoPlus® from Houston to Saudi Arabia, equal to about 60 percent of AGP’s total exports of Amino Plus®.
USSEC, in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), organized several events within the Maghreb region of North Africa to reemphasize the image of the U.S. as a major supplier of high-quality soybeans and soybean products. U.S. soybean products have traditionally enjoyed a dominant market share with a 100 percent share for soybean meal strengthened by the U.S. – Morocco Free Trade Agreement. However, reduced import duties on South America soybean meal in 2013 impacted U.S. market share. USSEC has had a program in Morocco for more than 20 years, working closely with the livestock sector, particularly the poultry and feed industries, and providing numerous teams with training and technical assistance. USSEC continues to promote the intrinsic advantages of U.S. soybean products to differentiate U.S. soybeans and build customer preference. Objectives of the programs developed by USSEC and with FAS support include increasing the use of U.S. soybean meal in poultry feed, addressing customers’ issues and needs, and competing with other unsustainable protein sources supplying end users with a reliable, trusted, constant quality source of highly available nutrients. Poultry roundtables for the Maghreb region’s feed industry, held over the last three years, as well as trade servicing, have successfully gathered leading poultry and feed customers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, reflecting the importance of the three markets to U.S. commercial interests. Morocco, the largest buyer of U.S. soybean products in the Maghreb region, also remains among the top 10 export markets for U.S. soybean oil. Morocco remains one of the leading soybean meal users in North Africa and the Middle East with an estimated 600,000 ton market and the U.S. market share for soybeans in 2014/2015 has reached 73 percent.