News: South Asia
In Sri Lanka, USSEC has had two significant landmarks that helped obtain market access for U.S. Soy: the acceptance of genetically modified (GM) soybean meal for use in animal feeds and a zero customs tariff for imports.
In 2008, Dr. Athula Mahamage was appointed as USSEC’s Sri Lanka country representative and his concerted efforts with local influencers and policy makers helped lead to these accomplishments. As a result of this and the continued tech and trade efforts by Dr. Athula, the U.S. Soy industry has enjoyed a steady increase in the soybean meal market share in Sri Lanka. The country imported about 220,000 metric tons (MT) of soy meal in 2015/16, of which 70 percent is U.S. soybean meal.
However, markets change, policies get altered, and government rules are amended. Caught in one such transformation was the reversal of customs duty on soybean meal that was notified by the Sri Lankan Government in November 2016. The duty, which was set at 15 percent, put Dr. Athula and his team (members of the animal husbandry, finance ministry, and trade associations in the livestock and poultry industry) on alert. They worked strategically to bring the duty down to 5 percent in December 2016. As a next step, the team convinced the authorities at the finance ministry on the importance of soybean meal, which supports a growing poultry/animal feed industry in the country and has successfully gotten soybean meal listed in the Gazette Notification as an “exempted item” for customs duty. Competitiveness for U.S. soybean meal entering Sri Lanka was hampered slightly but has been successfully restored back to its original state.
Market access is a priority area for USSEC’s global market reach. Constraints of different natures exist in different countries and some issues may even crop up from nowhere like the one cited here. Continued efforts in this area ensure markets for U.S. Soy.
USSEC recently attended the Pakistan Edible Oils Conference (PEOC) and visited customers in Pakistan, in addition to holding Asia Subcontinent (ASC) staff planning meetings in India.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter and USSEC Acting ASC Regional Lead and Marketing Director – Animal Nutrition Pam Helmsing traveled to New Delhi and Agra, India and Karachi and Lahore, Pakistan from January 13 – 26. During that time, they met with customers and potential customers of U.S. Soy in Pakistan to hear about their markets and concerns and talk about the value of U.S. Soy; Mr. Sutter spoke at the PEOC event; and they worked with the ASC team to plan for the execution of existing and future programs.
Mr. Sutter addressed approximately 500 attendees at PEOC, speaking about the value and sustainability of U.S. Soy. After the PEOC event, meetings with Pakistani crushers and feed mills took place.
USSEC’s plans in Pakistan include: technical training for the solvent extractor industry; nutritional expertise for the poultry industry; possible assistance with demand building for poultry, including nutritional information and countering junk science that says poultry is harmful; possible U.S. Soy oil promotion assistance to position soy oil as a premium brand; and the possibility of bringing a group to Kansas State University for soybean procurement training through a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cochran grant.
Palm and canola currently dominate the oil market in Pakistan, although soybean imports for crush have increased dramatically. The industry recognizes that oil produced with U.S. Soy is lighter in color and has a lower cost of processing than soy from South America. There continues to be a preference for canola and palm, however, because of higher oil contents and consumer preference. Pakistani crushers are very price sensitive. They admit that they are unable to take U.S. Soy and produce as high a quality of soybean meal as can be imported from the U.S. and are anxious to learn how to improve their processes to do so.
Because purchases of soy by individual companies are rather small, purchases are usually made with multiple consignors. This means competitors are getting the same quality at the same price at the same time, which leads to consensus opinions about the quality and/or issues with product from a given country or supplier. This is true for both soybean meal and whole beans. The industry is moving toward some bulk handling.
The feed industry also recognizes the difference in quality between U.S. soybean meal and meal produced locally from U.S. beans. They note that the quality is improving. The feed industry is sophisticated and recognizes the value of U.S. Soy, both intrinsic and extrinsic advantages, and is looking for ways to calculate what premium they can afford to pay for U.S. origin.
The poultry industry has been growing at a rate of eight to ten percent yearly, but there are some plateau years. Profitability is low, with chicken at about two-thirds the price of lentils. The two major barriers to growth in chicken consumption are poverty and misinformation about the quality of poultry meat. The Pakistan Poultry Association is planning a feeding program at a few public schools, providing eggs and chicken legs to children and will collect data to show improvements in health, school attendance and learning.
USSEC recently conducted a soy demand-building event in Kandy, Sri Lanka as an extension of a two-day national event planned by the Sri Lankan government to educate audiences about protein. About 500 participants attended this event with a significant group including influencers from the government, scientists, and representatives from the animal feed and protein trade industry.
USSEC consultants in Sri Lanka and southern India, Dr. Athula Mahagamage and Dr. Yadunandan, led the conference. Dr. Mahagamage delivered a lecture on importance of protein and how Sri Lanka has been able to increase the production of chicken and eggs to meet growing demand. The session was also used to demystify perceptions about processes employed in chicken production, which was identified as a minor constraint that hampered chicken consumption in the country despite stable demand. During his lecture, Dr. Mahagamage shared data on the utilization of U.S soybean meal in the Sri Lankan poultry industry, emphasizing that the quality meat and positive economics seen in production economics are due to the superior quality and consistent supply of U.S soybean meal.
Drs. Mahagamage and Yadunandan also conducted a closed room discussion with the animal husbandry department, poultry farmers, and veterinary college faculties. Participants agreed on the importance of developing further strategies to increase chicken and egg production in Sri Lanka. Mr. Jayan, owner of Jaya farms, a leading poultry enterprise, pointed out that how U.S soybean meal has contributed to the development of Sri Lanka’s poultry industry.
Mithreepala Sirisena, president of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, attended the event’s second day. The 304 participants included officials from various government departments, teachers, animal husbandry officials, poultry farmers, and feed millers. Dr. Mahagamage invited two external speakers, Dr. Gamini Jayakody, consultant physician to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Dr. Nimal Priyankarage, head of nutrition at the Veterinary Research Institute, to speak at the event and focus on nutrition and nutritional factors. Dr. Priyankarage spoke on high quality protein and how to differentiate complete and incomplete proteins. While speaking on amino acid composition in vegetable and animal proteins, he stressed that only soybeans offer an almost complete profile of amino acids.
USSEC participated in the Pakistan Edible Oil Conference (PEOC) in Karachi, Pakistan on January 21.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter spoke to attendees on the topic “Soybeans: Sustainably Produced and Packed with Protein.”
In addition to talking about the sustainable manner in which U.S. soybeans are produced and explaining how sustainability is a new benchmark, Mr. Sutter also discussed growing protein consumption around the world and how to evaluate protein.
The presentation’s positive message focused on how consumers are demanding sustainably produced products, which U.S. Soy can deliver.
U.S. Soy grower leaders visited Nepal for the first Asia Subcontinent Trade Buyers Conference (ABC2016) from November 8 – 11.
The Asia Subcontinent Buyers Conference marked the region’s first buyers’ conference. USSEC, along with the support of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offered the conference as a regional opportunity for buyers and sellers of U.S. soy, corn, and grain to promote additional knowledge through which stronger relationships can be built for a prosperous and stable future.
The Asia Subcontinent (ASC) region, comprised of the countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, has emerged as a relatively new market for U.S soy and corn products. International commodity traders and exporters as well as buyers from the ASC region have shown growing interest in exploring opportunities and seeking solutions for the continued demand of agri-inputs. The U.S. agriculture sector has made significant contributions in this region by providing solutions and support to various industries’ technical and trade needs and is considered to be a preferred supplier of services and commodities.
USSEC chairman and American Soybean Association (ASA) director Jim Miller presented remarks on sustainability on his farm.
ASA president Richard Wilkins provided an overview of the U.S. political landscape post-election, the possible effects on U.S. agriculture, and also discussed sustainable practices on his farm.
USDA provided a regional overview from the viewpoint of U.S. agriculture, while USSEC and USGC provided a look at the ASC market, including how the region’s market demand has developed over the past five years, present developments and future requirements by 2020.
With the continued growth of U.S. soybean exports to Pakistan, USSEC has taken on responsibility for trade and technical serving efforts targeting oilseed crushers, feed millers, and the poultry industry. U.S. Soy family efforts began in the 1990s when Pakistan used minimal levels of soybean meal in their poultry rations and sourced what they did use primarily from India. During the last five years, the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) has built on the original work and expanded the commercial network for the U.S. Soy value chain in Pakistan; one strategy has involved leveraging soybean farmer resources with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding from programs such as the FEEDing Pakistan aquaculture project. Over the past 20 months, Pakistan has imported over 393,000 metric tons (MT) of whole soybeans and soybean meal from the United States, for an estimated value exceeding $140 million.
WISHH and USSEC are now executing a shift of programmatic responsibilities, and ensuring that adequate FY 2017 funding is available to further develop U.S. Soy markets in Pakistan. The FY 2017 initiatives include trade servicing and technical assistance as well as information exchanges on the large and complex Pakistan market. USSEC will provide technical assistance to Pakistani buyers and crushers and support their participation in USSEC training and exchange activities.
As USSEC takes on the management of most market development activities, WISHH will complete the final year of the FEEDing Pakistan aquaculture program, which has built a market for soy-based floating fish feed and introduced tilapia to the commercial market. WISHH will continue to pursue similar, non-traditional funding in Pakistan (outside of the usual USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) funding streams of the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) in close collaboration with USSEC.
“The progress in the Pakistan market shows that WISHH is a trailblazer for the U.S. soybean trade,” said WISHH committee chair Daryl Cates.
“We are proud to build on many years of U.S. Soy activity in Pakistan,” added USSEC chairman Jim Miller. “We look forward to taking on key programs in Pakistan to create further demand for U.S. Soy by providing our full range of services to Pakistani Customers – these will include technical and trade servicing plus applicable market access work. We also look forward to collaborating with WISHH who will be finishing out the fourth year of their Feeding Pakistan Aquaculture Project in fiscal 2017.”
WISHH is a trade-development program, headquartered at the American Soybean Association, in St. Louis. Since U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000, it has worked in 24 countries to develop long-term markets for U.S. soybean farmers while fueling economic growth and value chain development.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council aims to maximize the use of U.S. Soy internationally by meeting the needs of global customers that use U.S. Soy in human food and feed for poultry, livestock and fish. The organization uses a global network of stakeholder partnerships, including soybean farmers, exporters, agribusinesses, agricultural organizations, researchers and government agencies, to accomplish that mission. USSEC programs are partially funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) and by Foreign Agricultural Service funds provided by the American Soybean Association.
USSEC, in cooperation with India’s PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recently organized a workshop on the role of soy in health and nutrition in New Delhi.
J.P. Meena, Special Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, wants to establish a partnership between soy producers and processors, given soy’s protein and other nutritional value for large-scale consumption. Mr. Meena emphasized the role of soy to combat malnutrition in India and suggested a large-scale campaign similar to the one promoting eggs to be launched for soy products as well.
USSEC Director – India Food Program Dr. Ratan Sharma spoke at the event, describing soy’s nutritional qualities: “Soy is a highly nutritious food. Soybeans are one of the very few plants that provide a high quality protein with minimum saturated fat.” He continued, “Soybeans contain all of the three macronutrients required for good nutrition, as well as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Soybeans help people feel better and live longer with an enhanced quality of life. Soy contains 40 percent protein, making it higher in protein than any other legumes and many animal products. Protein in just 250 grams of soybean is equivalent to protein in 3 liters of milk or 1 kilogram of mutton or 24 eggs.”
Dr. Sharma also discussed various soy products, including soy milk, tofu, soy nuggets, soy fortified wheat and graham flour, and soy-based dal analogue, saying that these products have been produced using high-end processing, and that they are tasty and safe for consumption.
He further accentuated that soy could be an excellent solution to reduce the protein calorie malnutrition in India and that the Indian government should include soy as a main nutritional ingredient for various supplementary nutrition and welfare programs. Dr. Sharma pointed out that soy-fortified wheat flour can be widely used in the public distribution system and that India imports more than five million metric tons (MMT) of dal (lentils) from other countries. He believes that the government should promote soy-based dal analogue because it is less expensive than traditional dal and superior in nutrition.
John Slette, Senior Attaché for Agriculture Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in India, emphasized the role of soy in food and nutrition security in the country. Mr. Slette was very positive about the efforts that the Indian government is making to fight malnutrition and suggested that soy products could be a cheaper source of protein for India’s population.
As part of its larger mission to the Asia Subcontinent (ASC), the QSSB team visited Sri Lanka on July 30 and 31, where they participated in an industry meeting and visited a feed mill, layer farms, broiler farms, and chicken outlets.
The delegation attended the “Lanka – U.S. Soy Alliance.” This networking meeting helped the U.S. Soy representatives to interact with and learn about the Sri Lankan industry. About 55 participants attended the meeting where two leading industry members discussed the Sri Lankan industry’s progress and growth.
At the meeting, USSEC Country Representative – Sri Lanka Athula Mahagamage and the Sri Lankan industry representatives provided an overview on the Sri Lankan market for U.S. Soy, animal feed operations, consumption patterns, possible applications for soy in human food, and future growth opportunities.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter emphasized and assured USSEC’s and the U.S. Soy industry’s support to the Sri Lankan industry and discussed USSEC’s activities worldwide. He compared Sri Lanka’s market to India’s and said that Iowa is 2.2 times the size of Sri Lanka. He continued to compare dry, value-added chicken versus the wet market (packaged versus birds that slaughtered on the spot. He said that the U.S. currently has a 100 percent market share in Sri Lanka.
Participants received the opportunity to know more about Sri Lankan opportunities and potential through one-on-one discussions over dinner.
The team also visited a feed mill, Gold Coin Feeds, where they saw stocks of U.S soybean meal, while a visit to a modern broiler farm indicated growth in the poultry industry. The trip to the farm also allowed the team to observe Sri Lanka’s countryside.
At the broiler operation, the delegation learned that each year, it processes 30,000 birds per shed per cycle of 36 days when they are harvested at 4.5 pounds. The 6-8 sheds are modernand environmentally controlled. The mortality rate is 2 percent and it uses no antibiotics and performs no debeaking.
By contrasting many small “mom and pop” grocery stores, the delegation had the opportunity to compare modern retailing and customer preferences to various food and grocery products. For example, the Pussala Meat shop demonstrated Sri Lanka’s chicken processing and retailing. 95 percent of the country’s poultry industry relies on processed, chilled and/or frozen chicken.
The QSSB team undertook 5 different activities in a span of 28 hours in Sri Lanka.
USSEC’s QSSB mission continued in Kolkata, India, on August 1 and 2.
Ten Bangladeshi industry members, including Moshiur Rehman, the managing director of the Paragon Group, traveled to the city of Kolkata, near the border of Bangladesh, to meet the delegation. Five Indian crushers / soy traders also met the QSSB team and learned about developments taking place in Bangladesh.
The USSEC mission visited Hi-Tech feed mill, a new broiler feed mill that produces 96,000 MT per year and has plans to diversify into aquaculture feed. During the briefing at the mill, the delegation learned about poultry growth and consumer demand, but also noted that there is plenty of room for growth as the per capita consumption of chicken in India is still very low.
About 33 participants attended the “Bangla-U.S Soy Alliance” in Kolkata. This was an exclusive session for the QSSBs to interact with the Bangladeshi industry. There will soon be four crush plants and several full fat soybean meal (FFSBM) production units, which will add to whole bean consumption in Bangladesh.
Mr. Rehman stressed that it was more important to conduct in-country activities to demonstrate technologies to the Bangladeshi people rather than conduct trips to the U.S. or the ASC region, noting that the scope of exposure is limited on the latter while in-country demonstrations and activities can be accessed by more people. He noted that aquaculture demonstrations were of immediate requirement.
Kazi Hassan, a key industry leader managing the Kazi group, gave his positive impressions on U.S. Soy and mentioned that his group would need some assistance or recommendations on how to improve their posts’ infrastructure. At the moment, he observed that there is too much handling, as large vessels cannot access the port. Increased tax on soybean meal imports in Bangladesh will make meal costlier and this could shift imports of meal to India.
Following the “Bangla – U.S. Soy Alliance” meeting, the group attended the evening networking reception, which was attended by the Bangladeshi industry members, QSSBs, USSEC, the U.S Consulate in Kolkata, and the East Indian industry representatives. The three-hour interactions helped the QSSB team to better understand Bangladeshi requirements as well as the East Indian industry. A total of 58 members attended the networking event.
The QSSB team participated in 3 impactful activities in 14 hours’ time in Kolkata.
The USSEC mission to the ASC wrapped up with a visit to Delhi, India from August 3 – 5.
The QSSB team attended a reception hosted by Scott Sindelar, Minister Counselor of Agricultural Affairs, Foreign Agriculture Services (FAS) / U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Embassy of the United States, New Delhi at his residence.
USSEC Deputy Regional Director – ASC Vijay Anand said, “It was an honor for the Indian industry members to receive this invitation from the U.S Embassy.”
About 65 participants attended the event, including ADM, Cargill, Poultry Federation of India, U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and U.S food grade soybean importers. These interactions helped the QSSB team obtain perspectives from different industry stakeholders.
Mr. Sindelar addressed the gathering, saying that USSEC was the most important U.S. cooperator and its continued activities and efforts have paid returns to U.S. agriculture.
USSEC Stakeholder Relations Manager Will McNair briefed attendees on the objectives of the QSSB mission to the ASC.
In Delhi, the team was taken to McDonalds for lunch, which provided them an insight on changing food preferences of customers, trends with the young population in India, and price comparisons.
A trip through the countryside was a great learning experience as participants observed Indian agricultural systems. The summer crop is in progress and they were able to witness many activities including brick making and rice farming. Passing through Agra, which is an overgrown village, allowed them to compare life in a metro city in India versus a small town.
On the last day of the mission, Mr. Sindelar and his team welcomed the group to the embassy, and they put together a presentation on the USDA’s perspectives on the Indian market. This activity was very helpful for the QSSB team to make their assessments. Mr. Sindelar stressed that it pays to be patient to be able to derive benefits from the Indian market and that they have seen success in the past.
USSEC made two presentations to the QSSB group as the final activity during the mission. One of the presentations focused on the market assessment recently put together for the ASC region, which contained information on demographics; regional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); current utilization; and future forecasts. It also had data on U.S Soy imports into the region. The second presentation centered on ASC’s program management, mission and goals; consultants’ geographic positioning and roles they perform; return on investment (ROI) for dollars invested; how funds are distributed against projects/activities; and unified export strategy (UES), among other topics. This was a two hour long session that helped tie up all that was observed at the market place during the seven-day mission.
The Iowa group was especially glad to note that the USDA has taken initiatives to accompany an Indian government delegation to the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa on August 31 and September 1. Drew Klein, Regional Representative – ASC will accompany the team once they reach the U.S, and Santosh Singh from the U.S. embassy will accompany them from India.
In Delhi, the QSSB team went through 6 different activities during a two and a half day span.
“With each of these trade visits, I am amazed at the breadth and depth of the technical services. They are building relationships by helping people with their businesses, not just moving soybeans. Helping companies builds loyalty for U.S. soybeans.”
-Kathy Maurer, Financial and International Marketing Director, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee
“I’m very excited to see that the reverse marketing that USSEC initiated long ago is working exactly how it was planned. It’s not possible to really have an idea of what is going on in India without seeing it firsthand. We have changed the mindset of those people and we will continue to move the needle there.”
-Park Wells, Executive Director, Tennessee Soybean Promotion Council
“The [Indian] government could really affect change for its people if they would remove barriers such inadequate roads and if they would take advantage of farming technologies that are available. The country and its people have such potential.”
-Ken Moore, Grower, Tennessee
“Sri Lanka presents such immediate potential. They want their farmers to be progressive and they want to import U.S. Soy. They understand the U.S. Soy advantage. They have a much more sophisticated marketing and processing system than India does. In Bangladesh, based on the comments that we heard, they recognize the quality of U.S. Soy but still make purchasing decisions wholly on price.”
-Tony Stafford, Director of Business Development and New Markets, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council
“The meetings at the U.S. Embassy really gave me a great understanding of all of the forces that work together to move my soy. USSEC and USDA and FAS … it’s so important to have these boots on the ground. When Jonn (Slette), the senior attaché, emphasized the great value of our visits to the market, it really drove home how important these interpersonal relationships are.”
-Mike Bellar, Grower, Kansas
“Feeding the world is so far from just how we can increase yield. There are so many market access issues that need to be addressed in order to get our commodity to the people that need protein.”
-Matt Stutzman, ASA Director and Grower, Michigan
USSEC conducted a trade meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh attended by 40 key soy stakeholders, comprised of poultry and aquaculture feedmillers, soy traders and soy crushers. The conclave’s objective was to bring the country’s soy representation together to have a dialogue with USSEC to assess opportunities and constraints for U.S Soy in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is emerging as a prominent country in the Asia Subcontinent (ASC) region for imports of U.S Soy, mainly whole soybeans. Its soy demand has gradually shifted from meal soybean imports, particularly over the last three years. In 2014/15 U.S. soybeans accounted for an 87 percent share (603,000 metric tons (MT)) of the country’s market.
USSEC CEO Jim Sutter thanked Bangladesh’s industry leaders for their 2014/15 purchases and provided a strategic overview of USSEC, a brief description of the U.S Soy industry, aspects of the global soy trade, and current conditions of the soy crop. USSEC Regional Representative – ASC Drew Klein described USSEC’s role, strategy, and operations in greater detail. Next, all participants described their business and experiences with soy, especially U.S. Soy, through extensive discussions for the next two hours. Several users remarked that they were very pleased with the quality of U.S. soybean meal, even over that available from Brazil, the principal alternative source in the region. Several entrepreneurs are willing to pay a premium for U.S. Soy.
The largest crusher in the country, Meghana Group, imported 600,000 MT of U.S. Soy last year, almost exclusively. Several attendees noted the superior amino acid profile of U.S. Soy and the consistent color, appearance, and performance of U.S. soybean meal. Two food companies purchase U.S. soy protein concentrate and isolate for inclusion into their products. The largest poultry producer documented a 3 percent increase in productivity with U.S. soybean meal compared to Brazilian meal in a corn-soy diet for his breeding hens.
One constraint to further growth is the lack of infrastructure for both bulk and containerized shipping and the possibility of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the government of Bangladesh, and private industry providing capital for infrastructure improvement was discussed.
Moshiur Rehman, president of the Bangladesh poultry association and managing director of the Paragon group, addressed the conclave and predicted the demand for feed and soybean meal will double by 2020. He forecasted about 50 to 60 percent of the soybean meal will be produced domestically using imported soybeans and the rest will be imported. He was concerned about a recent proposal to increase the tariff on soybean meal from 5 to 10 percent. In a separate discussion, Mr. Rahman described his association’s efforts to build demand for protein in the human diet by sponsoring school programs that emphasize eating an egg a day. The program is already yielding increased consumption.
USSEC coordinated meetings and field visits in Sri Lanka for USSEC exporter class member International Feed. Soybean meal is a major commodity for International Feed, which trades animal feed ingredients from Minneapolis to Sri Lanka. International Feed commodity trader Derek Michalski and commodity merchandiser Greg Gohmann visited Colombo, Sri Lanka to meet with existing clients in order to maintain business relationships and better understand recent market changes. They also met with potential clients in Sri Lanka. Yadu Nandan, USSECs Animal Feed Consultant, and Athula Mahagamage, USSEC Country Consultant – Sri Lanka, assisted the International Feed team.
Before travelling to Sri Lanka, International Feed participated in VIV-MEA 2016 in Abu Dhabi, where they met with several Sri Lankan customers, while the rest of their meetings took place in Colombo. The director of Sri Lanka’s Crysbro Group met with Mr. Michalski and Mr. Gohmann in Abu Dhabi to discuss soybean meal import and securing other raw material for their new feed mill, which is expected to be operational soon. The mill has a capacity of 72,000 tons/year.
In Sri Lanka, the team met with the Pussala Group, whose soybean meal requirement is 1000-1200 tons/month. Pussala is currently using U.S soybean meal but this meeting helped them obtain more knowledge and expand their trade linkages with International Feed. They also met with the general manager of another major feed miller, Gold Coin Feeds, where they discussed issues of meal quality and logistics. At the Gold Coin feed mill, the team physically examined the quality of soybean meal. Gold Coin Feeds imports about 3000 tons of U.S soybean meal every month. Next up was Ceylon Grain Elevators, Ltd. (CGEL), which is a loyal customer of U.S soybean meal. The team met with a nutritionist and the assistant general manager of purchasing, who both expressed satisfaction with using U.S soybean meal.
USSEC Deputy Regional Director – Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Vijay Anand says there is growing interest by the U.S Soy industry in the ASC region because of its rapid positive market changes. Once a market hub with self–sufficiency for soybean meal, the ASC is now steadily seeking an alternate, sustainable supply of soybean meal for its growing animal feed businesses. Total soybean meal imports into Sri Lanka were 175 thousand metric tons (TMT) in 2014/15 of which U.S Soy accounted for a 57 percent share. In the first quarter of the current marketing year, the country has already imported 39,252 metric tons (MT) of U.S soybean meal, which is 39 percent of last year’s total imported U.S Soy.
About USSEC exporter member International Feed: International Feed was founded in 1999 with the vision to trade and export quality animal feed ingredients in ocean containers to customers around the world. Today, International Feed is a thriving trading and full service logistics company operating in the bio-fuel and agricultural feed ingredient export industry. Their products include grains, oilseeds and their co-products, as well as a host of specialty commodities. The company works with processing facilities, grain elevators, and farmers directly to source the highest quality feed ingredients for customers. Their logistics and execution teams are experts in the handling and loading of commodities, preparing export documentation, and efficiently managing cargo movement. International Feed’s headquarters is in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. They also own and operate subsidiary companies that complement our vision to offer a full service supply-chain solution for customers. These include own in-house freight forwarder, a chain of trans load operations, and own Transportation Services Company, creating a “one stop” solution for international buyers looking to satisfy their agricultural import needs.
A resource document for the Asian Subcontinent is now available on the USSEC website.
The presentation is a market analysis and provides some forecasts for the Asian Subcontinent. Some points of interest include an overview of the region; protein/energy demand; drivers for growth; consumption trends; soybean meal usage and potential; and USSEC’s strategy to work on developing new feed businesses in India.
To view and download the document, please click here.
Twenty-nine participants from the Asian Subcontinent (ASC) visited the 2016 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta from January 26-28. They participated in all USSEC-coordinated events, expressing enthusiasm along with a desire to elevate their business and technical abilities. USSEC Animal Utilization consultants – ASC Pawan Kumar and Yadu Nandan coordinated the team and facilitated interactions with U.S. Soy grower leaders, USSEC global consultants, and USSEC staff, along with attending various soy discussions organized by USSEC. The trade team was comprised of feed millers, soy importers, feed formulation consultants, poultry media, representatives of the Poultry Federation of India and commercial officers from the U.S Embassy, Pakistan.
Participants took turns visiting the USSEC booth and interacting with the USSEC team to learn about sustainability, differentiation, supply and logistics of U.S. soybean meal and obtained knowledge on advancements in the global poultry sector and tackling avian influenza. The Nimbus Group from Nepal, which is a client of DeLong, utilized the IPPE venue for discussions and moved forward its agenda of branding and launching U.S. Identity Preserved Soy Oil in the Nepal market; it will soon acquire SSAP certification to further strengthen branding. Some decisive meetings were organized by Dr. Kumar and Dr. Nandan to help connect Pakistani entrepreneurs to establish their full fat soybean meal plant, possibly the first of its kind for the country.
Drs. Kumar and Nandan also used the event to quantify industry size (in terms of volume) through participation. The feed mill participants accounted for an annual production of 864,000 metric tons (MT), which depends on 172,000 MT of soy meal. The ASC feed formulation consultants from the poultry industry are directly connected to an annual feed milling capacity of 3.15 million tons, which utilizes 630,000 MT of soy meal. USSEC – ASC feels this is a sizeable group that derived multiple benefits that will eventually translate into value and business for the U.S. Soy industry.
Having achieved U.S. soybean farmer strategic goals for market growth, the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) transitioned its Bangladesh country programs to USSEC.
“Demand for U.S. soy protein has taken off in this South Asian country that is the eighth most populous country in the world,” said WISHH Program Committee Chairman Lucas Heinen, a Kansas soybean grower. “Soybean growers planned for such success when they created WISHH as a trailblazer for trade through long-term demand building in developing countries.”
“We are excited by Bangladesh’s potential. There is real opportunity in this market for U.S. Soy, as poultry and fish consumption continue to rise,” stated USSEC Chairman Laura Foell.
Bangladesh is home to more than 168 million people and has a rapidly growing middle-class economy. The country has purchased more than $500 million of U.S. Soy in the last five years with purchases accelerating in the last couple of years.
The U.S. Soy Family has been conducting programs in Bangladesh since 1999 with WISHH taking the lead since 2010. Through their checkoff programs, state soybean organizations supported WISHH’s work in Bangladesh, which has included a variety of educational programs with food companies and their trade associations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) programs also played a key role in introducing the benefits of soy protein to the South Asian market. USDA funding aided WISHH in forging key relationships with organizations such as the Bangladesh Auto Biscuit and Bread Manufacturer’s Association that signed a February 2015 agreement to conduct soy flour baking trials under a USDA Quality Samples Program. USSEC will now build on WISHH’s work in Bangladesh, and will work in both the feed and food sectors.
Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is the next market that WISHH will transition to USSEC. Planning and coordination discussions have begun for a 2017 transfer.
Coinciding with the introduction of a soy-based, multigrain dal maker in India’s third largest city, Chennai, USSEC conducted a promotional event on November 24 focused on increasing awareness and demonstrating multiple regional food product feasibility though a unique ‘do how’ program. About 150 participants representing the bulk-consuming segment including hotels, restaurants, catering and food service establishments, attended the event.
Dal is one of India’s most popular dishes. It is traditionally made of lentils, peas, or beans, which are split, dried and stripped of their hulls. It is often eaten with rice as a side dish or included in other dishes.
USSEC Director – India Soy Food Program Dr. M. M. Krishna addressed the participants and explained the important features of the soy-based multigrain dal maker in terms of its superior nutrition delivery and affordability besides its preeminent suitability for use as the base food in a variety of region specific food products such as sambar (dal soup with vegetables and spices) and dal with vegetables, in addition to other main dishes, starters and snack products. Mr. Awesh Jain, project head from Ruchi Soya Industries, communicated the unique manufacturing process as well as the rigid quality systems used in production. He also highlighted the market potential for the product, particularly as a source of affordable protein for the bottom of the pyramid population. The soy-based multigrain dal maker received the highest endorsement from a celebrity culinary expert and celebrated chef in Chennai. The head of Ruchi Soya’s sales-promoting company explained distribution arrangements to all the potential users.
The highlight of the event was a ‘do how’ show, given by the hotel’s executive chef and his team. They gave a step-by-step demonstration on preparing great tasting dishes based on soy-based multigrain dal maker. The products included regional specialties such as sambar, vegetable dal, dal vada (a deep fried starter snack made with dal maker), dal halwa (a sweet dessert prepared with dal maker, sugar, butter, oil, and dried fruits and nuts).
Nearly 110 people participated in the scoring of products and feedback. There was overwhelming acceptance of the products demonstrated during the event. The average score of excellent and good was 96 percent, with a range of 92 to 99 percent for different products.
Because the participants were mainly from the consuming industry (hotels, restaurants, food service, hospitality, etc.), the venue also served as an effective buyer – seller meet. Many of the participants have solicited commercial information and details of outlets for sourcing.
This unique event in a large metro city with a very high percentage of middle and bottom of the pyramid population with a high consumption of dal will catalyze market-building and growth in consumption of the dal analogue and help increase domestic consumption of soy in India.
Instead of communicating end-use application recipes for soy-based staples, USSEC has made a significant change to actually demonstrate the preparation of regional specific foods based on soy staples such as dal and food analogues. This shift from ‘know how’ to ‘do how’ has been found to be significantly impactful and more effective in capturing the consumer’s interest in the products.
USSEC also conducted an important ‘do how’ event for soy-based dal maker and food analogues in Visakhapatnam, the largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh back on February 9, 2015. The city has the largest number of institutional catering and college/university hostels, etc. An initial study conducted by USSEC gave encouraging demand leads for the products. 110 senior operating and purchase functionaries from hospitality industry as well as by the food trade and academia participated in the event.
The demand-building event designed as a ‘do how’ demonstration event was aimed at actually demonstrating the preparation of great tasting region specific foods. The executive chef of Hotel Daspalla, Visakhapatnam, performed the ‘do how’ demonstration. In all, nine region-specific dal based traditional foods were demonstrated and all the participants sampled these products. The products received an overwhelming response from all the participants. More than 80 percent of the participants rated the products as great tasting and highly acceptable. Presentations made by Ruchi Soya and USSEC on dal and food analogues and the health and nutrition benefits of soy were well received and discussed by the participants.
The event has generated great interest among the participating food service and hospitality industry personnel as well as with the trade. One large distributor of commodities for the hotel industry instantly placed a trial order for soy-based dal analogue and he is hopeful of building demand significantly in the next few months.
The most recent issue of USDA Oilseeds Markets and Trade highlights the rapid transition in India from soybean meal exporter to domestic consumer. Although the country was once a significant regional exporter of soybean meal, India is unlikely to regain export market share in the coming year. India’s domestic use of soybean products has been expanding. Historically, the country consumed the oil and exported excess meal. Growth in domestic poultry and egg production has increased the demand for protein meal. Rising demand for soybean meal has coincided with a drop in soybean production, tightening supplies and pushing local prices significantly above world levels.
This has led to a decline in Indian soybean meal exports, particularly to distant markets. Last year, nearly half of the exports went by surface trade to neighboring markets, primarily Bangladesh and Pakistan. Yet these rapidly growing markets are seeking alternative suppliers, purchasing not only more affordable soybean meal but also soybeans. India’s strong domestic use and declining export prospects appear likely to continue into the future, potentially ending its status as a net exporter. These circumstances may provide opportunities for the United States and South America to expand shipments to Asia.
Adding to the above report, USSEC Deputy Regional Director – ASC Dr. P.E. Vijay Anand stated that the human food and the aquaculture industries also depend on soy products as protein sources in addition to the poultry and egg production sectors. Recently, the use of texturized soy products (TSP) and other soy flour variants used in the human food industry has grown significantly. Increasing prices of vegetables and all time high prices of pulses further fuels the growth. Consumers are drawn towards the fact that TSP can be obtained at a quarter of the cost of pulses and with twice the protein content. On the aquaculture front, 15-20 percent growth in the shrimp industry has led to increased feed production and soy consumption. Inconsistent supply and the high cost of fishmeal have also contributed to the increased use of soy meal. The freshwater fish feed industry that relies solely on plant protein sources is another consistent user of soy meal. Soy usage in the feed and food industries will continue and lead to more domestic utilization of India’s soy production.