News: South Asia
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.
As part of the demand-building activity for soy-based multigrain dal maker, USSEC India’s Human Utilization program conducted an event focused on ‘Do How’ and ‘Know How,’ coinciding with the launching of the product on February 9 in Tirupati, a city located in the province of Andhra Pradesh in southern India. The event was jointly held with Ruchi Soya Industries and targeted end users. The objective was to create awareness and interest on the unique attributes of soy-based multigrain dal maker and its varied product applications. The ‘Know How’ sessions were handled by USSEC, while an executive chef from a reputed hotel focused the ‘Do How’ session on preparing region-specific culinary products.
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.
The event was formally inaugurated by Mrs. Sugunamma, a member of the legislative assembly from the government of Andhra Pradesh, who was pleased to learn the nutritional and economic benefits of this innovative product. She is convinced of the high nutritional significance of soy-based multigrain dal maker as a carrier of high protein nutrition to the needy and spoke about how such a low cost, high nutrition food product should be gainfully utilized in all government-funded nutrition intervention programs in the state. She also stressed that this low cost – high nutrition product should be made available to the vulnerable sections and those segments of the population that are nutrition-deprived and offered the support of her offices to promote the product to government officials and opinion leaders.
More than 120 end user segments including restaurants, hotels, catering establishments, opinion leaders and members of media and press attended the event.
USSEC consultants and industry representatives addressed various topics covering the manufacturing, quality protocols and nutritional attributes of soy-based multigrain dal maker. Ruchi Soya Industries’ head of marketing explained the market process and product outreach. The ‘Do How’ segment was showcased by the hotel’s executive chef, who together with his team demonstrated the preparation of great tasting and highly nutritive regional food preparations including tomato dal, spinach dal, sambar (spiced dal soup with vegetables), dal pyasam (sweet dessert made with dal, milk and sugar) and local snacks such as dal vada and samosa.
The participants sampled all prepared foods containing soy-based dal maker and rated the products extremely high on acceptability and taste. Four customers from the catering and restaurant segment placed orders for the product immediately.
A large number of press and media attended this session and USSEC Director – India Soy Food Program Dr. M. M. Krishna and Awesh Jain of Ruchi Soya Industries briefed the press and clarified aspects of the product and suggested many application possibilities. The event was widely covered in many regional and language newspapers.
Please click here to read the article from The Hindu, which has a circulation of 15,58,379 copies.
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 recently conducted an event, “Protein for All,” primarily targeting India’s animal feed and soybean meal industries along with protein end users, both meat and non-meat consumption sectors. The event was conducted in Patna (North India) and was attended by 125 participants and representatives of the media who spread the protein message to a wider audience.
India’s large population coupled with low protein consumption qualifies the country for some effective pull marketing strategies. Two major constraints still exist in the Indian community – knowledge of daily protein requirements is low, as is the ability to calculate dietary protein requirements based on different types of food products available. Knowledge about the economics of protein sources and different types of protein products and their characteristics is also lacking. The staple diet of most Indians is cereal- and pulse-based, which delivers about 20 grams (g) of protein per day.
USSEC animal utilization consultant Dr. Pawan Kumar conceptualized the idea of “Protein for All” in order to educate a diverse audience on creating customer opportunities to increase the consumption of animal products (poultry meat, eggs, fish, and shrimp) in addition to cereals and pulses. The event also recommended the use of texturized soy products as direct protein supplement for non-meat eaters.
Four focused presentations were made during the session.
Dr. Suresh Itapu, director of Food and Agri Consulting Services in Hyderabad, discussed protein requirements for different age groups and activity groups. Dr. Itapu explained protein’s structure and how it is synthesized in the human body. He stated that an adult with low activity should take 0.8 g protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight, an adult with medium activity should consume 1g/kg of body weight, and a high activity or stressed person should consume 1.2 g protein/kg of body weight. For growing children, the requirement is 1.5 g/kg of body weight for low activity and 1.8 g/kg body weight for children with high physical activity. Athletes’ requirements vary between 2 – 2.5 g/kg of body weight.
USSEC animal utilization consultant Dr. Yadu Nandan presented a mathematical approach on how protein intake can be monitored, demonstrating that protein intake can be guided at every meal by measuring cooking and serving on a plate.
USSEC Country Representative – Sri Lanka Dr. Athula Mahagamagae spoke about different sources of protein, its significance, and its health benefits. His focus was on poultry and egg products and their nutritional details.
In Dr. Kumar’s presentation, he discussed the basic differences in food habits of south Asians and the rest of world. Proportions based on half meat and half cereal is the norm worldwide, but in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, cereals and a small quantity of pulses form staple diets. Pulse production is not meeting demand, resulting in reduction in per capita availability of pulses in the region. This trend reduces protein supply from pulses in the region. Dr. Kumar recommended that alternate protein solutions could be obtained from increasing the consumption of milk, chicken, egg, fish, and various other soy protein-based food products. Chicken and eggs are the cheapest source of animal-based protein for meat eaters in India; it costs $ 1.51 for 100 g of chicken protein and $ 1.28 for 100 g of egg protein, while the cheapest form of protein is derived from texturized soy products at $ 0.24 for 100 g protein.
India boasts several different geographic terrains, with the northern region experiencing lower temperatures during winters. Naturally, India has some fish species that live and grow in cold waters. Trout is found in these regions and its farming is becoming popular. Trout is a cold water, hill stream fish that needs high energy and high protein diets to meet its feeding habits and its fast swimming habit.
USSEC – ASC conducted a one-day aquafeed education session for about 75 aqua farmers, government officials and other stakeholders connected with the trout industry. The USSEC team was in India’s Northern Province for an internal meeting and took advantage of the time to work with the University of Palampur and the Department of Fisheries in the region to conduct this session.
The workshop’s objective was to explore new markets to position soy-based aqua feeds and help improve capacity utilization of Indian feedmills. Trout farmers in the region lack an understanding of advanced feed formulations and milling technology, and so this session helped them grasp the intricacies involved in feed manufacture. For some industry professionals, extension workers, environmentalists and scientists, the session helped reflect important aspects connected to feed formulation and best farming practices. It was important that the professionals re-visit talking points on modern feeds and farming methods so they in turn can disseminate USSEC’s recommendations to a wider industry audience. Other discussions covered aspects of fish nutrition and creating trade linkages with modern feed mills, which displayed their feeds and supported the participants with information on supply and logistics.
In two consecutive events titled “Protein for All,” USSEC India targeted the layer industry to accelerate demand for soybean meal usage. With 83 billion eggs produced last year, India ranks third in the world. The province targeted for this activity, Andhra Pradesh, accounts for 30 percent of India’s egg production. The region is also the leading province for the production of fish and shrimp and figures in the top five provinces for broiler production.
Soy inclusions in the layer sector can swing substantially depending on the price, supply, and availability of other competing sources of protein. Customers recognize that soybean meal is produced using a standard process and therefore the quality of protein is nutritionally superior to other protein sources. In order to build more demand for soy in the layer sector, USSEC conducted two events in this province, set apart by a distance of 124 miles, where the maximum concentration of operations exist. It partnered with the leading poultry industry group, Srinivasa Hatcheries, which helped gather potential customers at the seminars.
Dr. S.V. Rama Rao who represents the Poultry Directorate of the Central Government of India was the lead speaker. A well-known researcher and an accepted guide for the industry, Dr. Rao spoke in depth on the quality and nutritional intricacies of soybean meal and how they affect egg production. USSEC animal utilization consultants Pawan Kumar and Yadu Nandan spoke on the commercial side, guiding the audience on buying skills and supply and demand trends of soy. The consultants also emphasized egg as a low cost protein source for the Indian population and recommended that the government position eggs in their social welfare and feeding programs. USSEC Deputy Regional Lead – Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Vijay Anand wrapped up the discussions by explaining how value addition to soy can be benefit the sellers (crush plants) and how customer demand for full strength soy protein can benefit the buyers (poultry sector).
An estimation made by USSEC consultants helped to quantify the target customers at these two events. The first event conducted in Vijayawada had 110 layer farmers and 8 aqua feed millers who represented 28 million layer bird holdings and 430,000 metric tons (MT) of annual aqua feed milling (layer and aqua). The layer group represented a soybean meal usage of 109,000 MT, while the aqua feed millers represented 86,000 MT. Similarly, the second event held at Rajahmundry, with 130 participants represented 23 million layer bird holdings requiring 92,000 MT of soybean meal in their operations.
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 India, in collaboration with the Soy Food Promotion and Welfare Association of India (SFPWA) and the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), recently conducted a consultation session for the development of a white paper on soy nutrition.
The purpose of this activity was to create a background paper on soy nutrition, which will include techno-commercial aspects on the topic and will serve as a reference for premier institutes dealing with nutrition; government departments, including decision-making ministries; and industry stakeholders. This reference document will be used to gather consensus on soy nutrition and approve its suitability into more government feeding and supplementary nutrition programs in India.
At the white paper session, the participants jointly developed the draft and incorporated suggestions and modifications. Various authorities will validate the document, following this exercise. A four-page summary of this background note in the form of a white paper will be published. As a final step, the document will be forwarded to government ministers and is envisioned to become the government’s reference for soy.
USSEC Director-India Food Program Ratan Sharma took cues from a white paper that was previously developed and accepted by the government for inclusion of coarse grains in supplementary nutrition, feeding, and welfare programs. Dr. Sharma feels that the white paper will potentially increase the soy utilization opportunity in feeding programs by further strengthening various norms and procedures covered under decision-making.
This program was conducted in Indore (Central India) in collaboration with SOPA and also had active participation from the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), which is the premier nutrition institute of India’s government, Department of Biotechnology, Food and Nutrition Board, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Indian Council Of Agriculture Research, North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (NERAMAC), university representatives and soy food industry partners such as ITC, Adani Wilmar, and Solidaridad. This activity was well covered by the print media and local TV channels, which helped it obtain wider publicity.
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.
USSEC India recently participated in Aahar, which is the largest food show in South Asia. USSEC partnered with USDA and some selected soy food industries to put up two booths, one of which was called the “Soy Pavilion.” Five soy food companies participated in this food show under USSEC’s flagship and displayed their soy products and distributed samples to public audiences.
USSEC took this opportunity to highlight U.S food beans and soy oil on this platform and received queries for these products. The food expo was visited by a number of people from various food processing sectors, food importers, traders, ingredient suppliers, government officers and policy makers, food processing machinery manufacturers and others in the food value chain. “Soy Messages” were disseminated though various publications that covered subjects on soy health benefits, soy food products, U.S food specialty beans, soy oil, etc. The Soy Pavilion generated great interest among visitors.
The Deputy Chief of U.S Embassy – Michael P. Pelletier, along with the Minister Counsellor of Agriculture Affairs Scott S. Sindelar, visited the USSEC booth and had discussions with USSEC Director – India Food Program Dr. Ratan Sharma about the possibility of U.S Soy imports to India and the Asian Subcontinent. Dr. Sharma explained the soy situation in the Asian Subcontinent and about increasing imports of U.S soybeans and soybean meal to Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. He talked about USSEC’s work to promote U.S soybean meal and food beans in the region and about recent U.S trade team visits and a food bean import that was in process.
Mr. Sindelar and other U.S officers from the U.S Embassy in Delhi and the Mumbai U.S Consulate visited the Soy Pavilion and interacted with all soy food exhibitors about their businesses and about U.S Soy. USDA officers referred some trade contacts interested in importing U.S products to USSEC.
A few of the soy food companies displayed and sold their newly developed ready-to-eat soy-based products to visitors. This attracted a large crowd who was eager to enjoy the soy food products.