News: Middle East / North Africa
USSEC organized the first USSEC Regional Aqua Investment Conference – MENA from November 20-23 at the Grosvenor House in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for regional fish producers.
The activity started with one-on-one meetings in Egypt, followed by a two-day seminar in Dubai, followed by two days of one-on-one meetings in Turkey.
More than 80 participants from 10 different countries attended the conference. Participants hailed from major aquaculture producers and aquaculture feed millers in Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Speakers from different parts of the world included American Soybean Association (ASA) director Jeff Sollars; United Soybean Board (USB) director Robert Stobaugh; USSEC Regional Director – EU/MENA Brent Babb; Muntaser Dawwas, CEO, Invest Bank; USSEC Marketing Director – International Aquaculture / Customer Focus Colby Sutter; Mian Riaz, Director, Food Protein R&D Center, Texas A&M University; Michael Martin, Regional Sales Director, Insta-Pro International; Tim O’Keefe, President, Aqua-Food Technologies, Inc.; G. Ramesh, Technical Sales Advisor, Aqua Feed Division, Wenger Manufacturing Inc.; Djamal Djouhri, CEO, Al Ghurair Resources; and USSEC consultant Sirri Kayhan.
USSEC has a long-time relationship with Texas A&M University and sends participants from all over the world to attend aqua feed extrusion short courses offered by the Food Protein Research and Development Center in College Station, Texas. USSEC also has long-term relationship with Insta-Pro International, Wenger Manufacturing Inc, and Aqua-Food Technologies, Inc., where all parties cooperate to develop the international markets of soybeans and soybean products.
Information provided by the speakers included: update of USSEC’s global aquaculture programs; starting aquafeed production with small-scale, scalable extrusion plant; overview of aqua feed production; cost effective feed formulations in challenging economic times; managing the feed business around formulation; new advances in aqua feed extrusion technologies; investment opportunities in MENA’s aquaculture industry; financing and funding options by banks and investment funds for aquaculture projects; finance opportunities for the aquaculture industry; aquaculture developments in Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia; and success stories.
Insta-Pro’s Michael Martin commented, “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. Representing Insta-Pro International, a member of USSEC, I appreciated the opportunity to present Insta-Pro’s aquafeed technology to this high-level audience. As often happens at this type of event, the networking opportunities were as valuable as the presentations themselves.”
He also congratulated the USSEC team’s efforts on a “first-class event that will assist aquaculture operators in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa to plan for the future and expand their operations, which will inevitably raise demand for U.S. Soy.”
G. Ramesh of Wenger stated, “Wenger has been a proud member of USSEC since its inception and we continue to enjoy the partnership in promoting the use of soy via extrusion processing across several food and feed related industries.” He continued, “The recent 1st Regional Aqua Investment Conference organized by the USSEC MENA regional office in Dubai was the latest example of the opportunities provided through this cooperation. The aquaculture industry in this region has shown significant signs of growth, and this conference provided a forum to educate participants in the benefits of soy inclusion in these extruded feeds.”
USSEC – Middle East North Africa (MENA) organized its first round table meeting for Egyptian soybean oil processors in Cairo, Egypt on September 10. Approximately 25 local key soybean oil refiners and crushers participated.
USSEC regional technical and commercial consultant Najeh Asad moderated the event and two Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) staff members from the Cairo office attended the roundtable. Orestes Vasquez, Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, provided opening remarks on behalf of Ronald Verdonk, the Regional Agricultural Minister Counselor.
Mr. Asad highlighted USSEC’s mission and potential projects to be carried out in Egypt promoting the use of U.S. Soy in the Egyptian market. He also spoke on the trends and growth of Egypt’s soybean oil sector.
Addressing customer issues, the consultant discussed the related refining difficulties due to the associated high green color and the high free fatty acid content, in addition to the possible causes of the color reversion occurrence in freshly refined soybean oil produced recently by a large number of the local refineries using crude soybean oil produced by local crushers from soybeans of non – U.S. origin.
The roundtable meetings were followed by site visits to key leading customers, during which the consultant discussed and presented the importance and advantages of U.S. soy oil attributes either obtained by direct import from the U.S. or by local crush of U.S. soybeans, in addition to the high value of related logistics issues.
Currently, Egypt uses over 600 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybean oil with a total vegetable oil consumption of about 2.4 million metric tons (MMT). Additionally, Egypt consumes over 2 MMT of whole soybeans, which are mostly used by crushers to produce oil and meal. The local crush industry supplies about 50 percent of the country’s requirement, while the rest is covered through imports.
USSEC and USSEC member Midwest Ag Enterprises are working together in Egypt to introduce soy protein concentrate (SPC) to a growing aquaculture market. USSEC organized an aquaculture seminar on optimized feed formulation for marine finfish and tilapia. A total of 95 participants attended the May 10, 2015 event, representing 40 of the top poultry and aqua feed producing companies and opinion leaders in Egypt’s aquaculture industry. The presentations’ main message emphasized the important potential of U.S. Soy in improving diet quality and performance, consequently providing an opportunity to increase returns for U.S. Soy farmers. USSEC consultant Sirri Kayhan concluded the conference by demonstrating the economic advantage of using SPC to replace fishmeal. Follow-up visits with feed manufacturers underlined the existing interest in marine feeds using SPC. All of the feed manufacturers visited have established projects to produce marine fish feed. Egypt’s aquaculture sector has been growing at more than 10 percent per year for the past 10 years. Today, the aquaculture sector produces approximately 1.1 million tons of fish, 40,000 tons of which are marine fish. This number is expected to double by 2017 as Egypt unveils plans to establish 2,400 hectares of marine fish farms along the Suez Canal waterline. The project is expected to produce 50,000 tons of fish annually and annual demand for marine feed is expected to reach 200,000 tons. Current marine feed production capacity is only 1000 tons, leaving great opportunity in terms of improving quantity as well as quality of marine aqua feed. FAS subsidizes two of USSEC’s representatives in the MENA region: Salah Taher, Egypt country representative, and Sirri Kayhan, USSEC’s country representative in Turkey, both have year-long contracts funded by FMD.
USSEC is working with Cargill and the Egyptian Milk Producers Association (EMPA) to introduce soybeans and soybean co-products to Egypt’s dairy industry. 55 participants representing Egypt’s top dairy producing companies attended a seminar that took place on June 9 in Cairo. In the two days following the seminar, the USSEC team conducted four one-on-one industry visits to large dairy farms to provide the necessary support for the adoption of soybeans and soybean co-products into dairy feeding.
USSEC consultant Dr. Jan van Eys served as the keynote speaker at the seminar. He remarked, “The Egyptian dairy sector is a rapidly developing industry, moving to increased concentrations and industrial means of dairy production. Two main aspects drive the development of the dairy industry: a) the relatively high population growth rate which is greater than three percent a year; and b) the increased standard of living; all this at a time that Egypt is a net importer of dairy products.”
Egypt’s dairy sector has about four million dairy cows. Of those, approximately 15 percent (600,000) are kept under industrial production conditions with levels of production approaching those of similar operations in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe. The remainder is kept in small farms or under backyard conditions.
“Soybean meal plays a major role in the diets of these animals – now and even more in the future,” Dr. van Eys continued. “The current use rates of soybean meal in lactating cow diets is between two to four kilograms per cow daily and these levels are likely to be sustained. The potential use of soybean meal in the industrial sector of the Egyptian dairy industry is 500,000 to 1,000,000 tons annually while the potential use of hulls is estimated at 1,000,000 tons annually at least.”
Most of the concentrated raw materials to support the dairy industry are imported or locally processed. The Egyptian soy crushing industry has a capacity of approximately 1,850,000 tons of beans, with more than half of those being of U.S. origin. The growing demand for Hi-Pro soybean meal is pushing the growth of the local crushing industry. To meet this growing demand of the poultry, livestock and aquaculture sectors, the Egyptian soy crushing industry is building new capacities for Hi-Pro soybean meal production and the industry will double in size over the next three to four years.
Soy hulls are probably the most valuable co-product from the Hi Pro soybean meal production. USSEC and Cargill have joined forces in order to position the product on the local ingredients market and educate the local dairy industry on nutritional benefits and proper use in the feeding of dairy cattle.
USSEC consultant Dr. Iani Chihaia presented the advantages of soy hulls and extruded full fat soybean meal use in dairy feeding at the seminar.
“At this stage, soy hulls seem to be an underestimated feed resource, simply because there is a lack of understanding regarding the advantages of this raw material in dairy feeding and competition from the sugar beet pulp. However, besides the excellent nutritional profile, the soy hulls are available twelve months per year from the local crushing industry. Educating end users will create a proper understanding of the nutritional value of soy hulls and consumption will increase in dairy feeds, as a substitute for sugar beet pulp, which is available just four months during the year,” Dr. Chihaia stated.
“Attending the USSEC event and receiving USSEC’s technical experts’ visit to our farms was an excellent opportunity to understand the latest trends in dairy nutrition and opportunities created by the availability of the soy co-products from the local crushing industry,” said Mr. Abdul Latif Shash, dairy farm owner.
USSEC held its first roundtable meetings for soy oil processors in Casablanca, Morocco on June 2.
Local USSEC consultant Benabdeljelil Khalid opened the meeting, highlighting USSEC’s mission in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region and the importance of U.S. Soy in Morocco’s market.
USSEC MENA Regional Soybean Oil Technical and Commercial Consultant Najeh Asad gave an introductory presentation on the current status of the soybean oil market and industry in Morocco and the soy value chain in Maghreb, where soy is the leading U.S. agricultural value product. Morocco uses over 400 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soy oil of a total vegetable oil consumption of 676 TMT. The consultant addressed customers’ issues and presented the latest on optimization parameters of the refining process to produce high quality soybean oil.
The roundtable meetings were followed by onsite visits to key leading customers during which the importance of U.S. Soy oil was highlighted and differential advantages of crude U.S. Soy oil were presented such as lower refining losses, insured quality and logistics, which contribute to a higher quality product.
The consultants reminded customers of the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) standards of soy oil and provided quality control benchmarking required for every step of the refining process. Topics covered included the latest innovations, analytical technology procedures, trouble shooting issues, and equations to evaluate losses, among others.
Maghreb remains the largest market place for soybean oil consumption in the MENA region where soy oil is the predominant vegetable oil.
USSEC recently provided a full fat soybean meal technical services program in Egypt.
USSEC consultant Dr. Mian Riaz travelled to Cairo from May 15-19. He first visited the Wadi Holding Co. and inspected their original feed mill. The company currently has three extruders making full fat soybean meal. It is planning to install a new extruder at its extraction plant facility at a different location. Dr. Riaz gave a presentation about full fat soybean processing and quality and showed some video on the subject. He discussed Wadi’s drawing and new site for full fat soybean production in detail.
On the second day, Dr. Riaz visited Pyramid Poultry in Sadat City. This feed mill plans to install 36 new extruders with presses to make mechanically expelled soybean meal for poultry. Currently, it is building its factory and then will start making full fat and express meal. The company has already bought all the extruders and presses for its operation. Dr. Riaz talked to staff about the quality of soybean meal and showed them some video about processing full fat and express meal. Pyramid Poultry is interested in refining soy oil from its mechanically expelled operation and has already purchased the refining equipment, which will be installed soon after the completion of the facility.
Dr. Riaz visited Cairo Poultry feed operation on his third day. Cairo Poultry is presently using Chinese extruders to make full fat soybean meal and recently installed an expander for full fat soybean meal production. Dr. Riaz presented a seminar to more than 15 feed mill staff on full fat soybean meal processing and its quality parameters. At this time, the company is having some issues with producing full fat soybean meal with its new expander. Dr. Riaz explained the principles of operation of dry and wet extruder as well as the expander.
USSEC and USSEC member Midwest Ag Enterprises are working together in Egypt to introduce soy protein concentrate (SPC) to a growing aquaculture market. USSEC organized an aquaculture seminar on optimized feed formulation for marine finfish and tilapia. A total of 95 participants attended the event, representing 40 of the top poultry and aqua feed producing companies and opinion leaders in Egypt’s aquaculture industry.
Egypt’s aquaculture sector has been growing at more than 10 percent per year for the past 10 years. Today, the aquaculture sector produces approximately 1.1 million tons of fish, 40,000 tons of which are marine fish. This number is expected to double by 2017 as Egypt unveils plans to establish 2,400 hectares of marine fish farms along the Suez Canal waterline. The project is expected to produce 50,000 tons of fish annually and annual demand for marine feed is expected to reach 200,000 tons. Current marine feed production capacity is only 1000 tons, leaving great opportunity in terms of improving quantity as well as quality of marine aqua feed.
USSEC feed milling specialist Tim O’Keefe met with several of the aqua feed producers to address specific technical questions about the use of U.S. SPC in diets for marine species. Aller Aqua, one of Egypt’s leading quality producers of feed, and Wadi Group expressed a keen interest in proceeding with the production and testing of a soy-based diet containing Nutrivance from Midwest Ag Enterprises. Wadi plans to independently register Nutrivance for importation and purchase feed for a trial with ten large cages of sea bass.
USSEC Marketing Director – Aquaculture/Customer Focus Colby Sutter attended the seminar and welcomed participants. Mr. O’Keefe delivered a presentation on feed formulation using soybean meal and SPC for sea bass and sea bream diets. Jim Moline, the president of Midwest Ag Enterprises, spoke about the nutritional advantage of SPC and USSEC speaker Sirri Kayhan, Regional Manager at Feed Management Systems Inc., concluded the seminar by demonstrating the economic advantage of using SPC to replace fishmeal.
The presentations’ main message emphasized the important potential of U.S. Soy in improving diet quality and performance, consequently providing an opportunity to increase returns for U.S. Soy farmers. Follow-up visits with feed manufacturers underlined the existing interest in marine feeds using SPC. All of the feed manufacturers visited have established projects to produce marine fish feed.
Mr. Moline participated in the follow-up visits and commented, “I am finding great opportunity for Nutrivance SPC in Marine Fish diets in Egypt. I see a quickly expanding marine aquaculture industry and the potential transition of the 80,000 tons of marine fish diets currently using trash feed. I am really excited to be on the ground floor in this market. I am especially excited to prepare shipment of Nutrivance to the Wadi Group to begin its use in sea bass diet formulations.”
USSEC held a poultry roundtable for Maghreb’s feed industry in Maghreb in Casablanca, Morocco from May 10-12 as part of the organization’s FY15 promotion program in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region.
The U.S. Ambassador in Morocco, Dwight Bush, opened the conference, highlighting the importance of U.S. Soy in exports worldwide and its contributing value to economy. “The global demand for soy will continue to increase, and North Africa’s feed industry was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing feed regions in the world,” he stated. “That growth is due to the dynamic poultry and milling industries that are represented by all of you here today; and at present, Morocco and Tunisia are the largest buyers of U.S. Soy products in the Maghreb, placing these two partners among the top ten largest export destinations for U.S. Soy products.”
Brent Babb, Regional Director – Europe and Middle East / North Africa (MENA), covered the advantages of U.S. Soy and the importance of international markets such as Maghreb in the soy value chain.
Bob Metz, United Soybean Board (USB) board director, and Willard Jack of the American Soybean Association (ASA)’s board of directors, explained the latest developments in farming soybean crops on their farms to the audience. Sarah Hanson, Agricultural Attaché, and the two agricultural specialists in the Maghreb region confirmed that soy is the leading U.S. agricultural value product in the Maghreb.
The presentations of visiting experts focused on broiler performance developments in the next twenty years, and the resulting requirements in the feed industry. USSEC consultant and professor at the University of Arkansas, Craig Coon, presented integrators, feed and poultry producers’ data showing the advantages of using U.S. Soy as compared to soybean meal of other origins to the audience of traders.
USSEC consultant and director of Food Protein R&D Center at Texas A&M University Dr. Mian Riaz discussed extrusion process and the advantages of different products made of soybeans.
Mr. Babb and his staff, the MENA team and local Morocco consultant Khalid Benabdeljelil organized the conference, which was followed by field visits and meetings with customers in the Moroccan markets.
The team discussed several issues regarding the importance of high quality ingredients in turkey feed during a visit to the Sofalim feed mill. This group will produce at full capacity feed for 60 percent of the turkeys grown in Morocco. Discussions held at Alf Sahel, the largest feed mill in Morocco, focused on extrusion, equipment and extruded soy products and soy oil. Other talks at Alf Al Mabrouk’s new feed mill focused on NIR and other analytical means to assess SBM quality and supply.
During visits, the team highlighted the need to use high quality feed and ingredients such as U.S. hipro meal to obtain top performance.
The Maghreb is the largest market in the MENA region for U.S. Soy products. Last year, Morocco imported over 300,000 tons of U.S. soybean meal. Traditionally, Morocco has imported a large percentage of its soybean meal needs from the U.S. Today, the U.S. maintains a market share in Morocco’s soybean meal market of about 35 percent. 80 percent of imported soybean meal goes to the poultry feed industry. Poultry remains by far the main user of soybean meal in this area.
The USSEC Poultry Training Program for Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey was held April 19- 25 at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine/IFAS, in Gainesville, Florida. Twelve key veterinarians and managers from the MENA region traveled to the University of Florida to attend the intensive program where disease and management problems affecting their region were discussed in detail. The program allowed for the presentation of new scientific information as well as an exchange of ideas among technical personnel from the participating countries.
At the current time, infectious diseases are devastating the poultry industries in Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia. The need for improvements in biosecurity and changes in the structure of the poultry industry in these countries is urgent. Topics for presentation and discussion ranged from avian influenza (H9 and H5), genotype 7 Newcastle disease, mycoplasma infections, variant bronchitis, biosecurity programs, vaccination techniques and management of the broiler from the day of arrival to the farm.
USSEC consultant Dr. Gary Butcher provided details on his experiences with these diseases in numerous countries worldwide. The event also provided a forum for technical personnel from the different poultry companies and countries to discuss current conditions and programs being implements to combat these illnesses. Participants commented positively on the program and especially enjoyed the roundtable discussion sessions, which provided them with an opportunity to learn more about problems unique to their region and take back knowledge that can be readily applied to their companies.
Attendees also toured a high tech and modern processing plant in Live Oak, Florida owned by Pilgrim’s Pride and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida.
USSEC participated in a meeting at the Egyptian Poultry Association (EPA)’s corporate office in Cairo on March 9. The topic of the gathering was the “Complex Disease Situation in the Egyptian Poultry Industry.” Approximately 40 participants representing all of Egypt’s key major poultry companies attended.
USSEC consultant Dr. Gary Butcher of the University of Florida is an expert on poultry diseases and led the discussion. The main topics of discussion were: Genotype 7 Newcastle Disease; H9 and H5 Avian Influenza; Variant Infectious Bronchitis; and Mycoplasmosis. Options for control and eradication of these diseases were discussed. Egypt’s poultry industry is facing many disease challenges and a better understanding of the treatment and vaccination options is essential if these problems are to be controlled. The deficiencies in many of the current vaccines were described and the need for improved biosecurity was emphasized.