News: Success Stories
With the support of FAS’s Cairo office, USSEC has worked with poultry producers in the Middle East region for several years, focusing on the economic benefits of using high quality U.S. soybean products. Soybean meal is becoming the major source of high-quality protein used in poultry feed, replacing protein sources from animal origins. Using U.S. soybean meal, poultry producers are promoting their processed chicken as raised on a vegetarian diet, which they sell at a premium price in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Many Middle Eastern consumers seek out poultry products produced using vegetarian diets for a variety of cultural and health-based reasons. In the Middle East region, soybeans have a strong reputation as a healthy product driving consumer preference for chicken raised on vegetarian meal rather than animal-based proteins. USSEC has been working closely with crushers in the region to help them with dehulling; improving the quality of both soybean meal and soybean oil; improving their ability to manage risk; and marketing their products in the region. Crushing plants in Egypt are mainly importing U.S. soybeans (55 percent U.S. market share in 2014/15). They then export their products of soybean meal and soybean oil to the neighboring countries in the region. Crushers prefer U.S. soybeans due to consistent quality and availability. Their customers also prefer the quality of soybean meal and soybean oil produced from U.S. soybeans.
USSEC held dairy nutrition seminars in cooperation with West Central (Wilmar, MN), Ag Processing, Inc, AGP (Omaha, NE), and Fornazor International (Hillsdale, NJ), covering the ins and outs of container logistics for bypass soybean meal AminoPlus®, a value-added product, from the U.S. to the Middle East. Many dairy farms in the Middle East have started to import AminoPlus® and SoyPlus® from AGP and West Central in containers. AminoPlus® is produced by AG Processing Inc., exported by Fornazor, and distributed by a Saudi company Nutriplus Commodities. Fornazor exports 40,000 metric tons (MT) of AminoPlus® from Houston to Saudi Arabia, equal to about 60 percent of AGP’s total exports of Amino Plus®.
USSEC, in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), organized several events within the Maghreb region of North Africa to reemphasize the image of the U.S. as a major supplier of high-quality soybeans and soybean products. U.S. soybean products have traditionally enjoyed a dominant market share with a 100 percent share for soybean meal strengthened by the U.S. – Morocco Free Trade Agreement. However, reduced import duties on South America soybean meal in 2013 impacted U.S. market share. USSEC has had a program in Morocco for more than 20 years, working closely with the livestock sector, particularly the poultry and feed industries, and providing numerous teams with training and technical assistance. USSEC continues to promote the intrinsic advantages of U.S. soybean products to differentiate U.S. soybeans and build customer preference. Objectives of the programs developed by USSEC and with FAS support include increasing the use of U.S. soybean meal in poultry feed, addressing customers’ issues and needs, and competing with other unsustainable protein sources supplying end users with a reliable, trusted, constant quality source of highly available nutrients. Poultry roundtables for the Maghreb region’s feed industry, held over the last three years, as well as trade servicing, have successfully gathered leading poultry and feed customers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, reflecting the importance of the three markets to U.S. commercial interests. Morocco, the largest buyer of U.S. soybean products in the Maghreb region, also remains among the top 10 export markets for U.S. soybean oil. Morocco remains one of the leading soybean meal users in North Africa and the Middle East with an estimated 600,000 ton market and the U.S. market share for soybeans in 2014/2015 has reached 73 percent.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) sponsored and participated in the 9th International Aquaculture Forum 2014 (FIACUI 2014), held November 5-7 in Guadalajara, Mexico. USSEC’s Americas office, which is funded by FMD and MAP, facilitated this forum. USSEC also invested $5000 of checkoff funds in this event. USSEC’s participation helped establish and increase relationships with aquaculture industry representatives, promoted the use of U.S. soybean products in aquaculture, and established key contacts for trade and technical servicing with this industry. The event drew representatives from the business sector, research centers, universities and the Mexican state of Jalisco’s Ministry of Rural Development. An international conferences program was included to provide producers with information to help them optimize their processes, packaging and marketing of seafood products. FIACUI 2014 also co-hosted the Latin American and Caribbean Aquaculture meeting (LACQUA 2014), a scientific conference organized by the World Aquaculture Society (WAS). Business meetings took place between aquaculturists, fishermen and potential buyers, with the aim of expanding their marketing channels. In the upcoming year, the Mexican aquaculture industry will produce nearly 120,000 metric tons (MT) of seafood and will use more than 70,000 MT of soybean meal from the U.S. This market has good potential for continued growth in the next several years, mainly with tilapia.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) visited one of Mexico’s biggest soybean importers, a Merida-based crusher and refinery company, and met with its commercial director to discuss plans to promote its 2015 soybean oil brands and ways that USSEC could provide assistance. USSEC’s support over the past two years to promote and impel two brands of 100 percent soybean oil has already resulted in sales increases. The production and R&D managers were invited to attend the next American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) Meeting in Orlando, FL, which is intended to update their knowledge of soybean crushing and production of soybean oil and edible fats with low trans fats content. USSEC also planned the organization of two seminars for the company’s key soybean meal customers with the objective to communicate the high quality of U.S. soybeans and soybean meal, along with relevant information on market trends.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) organized and conducted a public cooking class using soybean ingredients to promote the use and health benefits of soy products on November 29, 2014 in a Mexico City public park with more than 200 participants. USSEC brochures and promotional articles, along with product samples, were included in giveaway bags for participants. Event promotions included eight radio plugs, newspaper advertisements and banners for internet and social media. USSEC gave four interviews to media to discuss its mission and marketing activities, along with providing information about soybean products and their health benefits. These interviews were published in radio, newspapers and magazines. The public cooking class and the media promotion regarding the health benefits of soybean products proved to be very successful with 97 percent of the attendees convinced to use soybean products as a source of healthy foods. USSEC´s message spread by various media outlets was estimated to reach 9,306,212 people and the media coverage of the event was equivalent to over $86,000 USD.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) implemented a strategy, “Soy is Health,” to encourage greater consumption of U.S. soybean oil in the larger soybean oil-consuming countries in the Americas region where competing oils from other origins have affected imports from the U.S. In Costa Rica, USSEC conducted a generic campaign along with major soybean oil refiners touting activities that included educating consumers about the benefits of soy through community events, in-store promotions and an outdoor signage campaign. In Guatemala, USSEC worked with soybean oil refiners on similar educational activities and assisted “pull-through” at point of purchase in key retail stores in and around Guatemala City. USSEC invested $34,000 in Costa Rica and $10,524 in Guatemala, both under U14CXAM023-02 (Americas-Development of Media Campaigns & End User – Soybean Oil promotional campaigns). In both countries, the promotional campaign took place in August and September 2014. Costa Rica’s results showed a 10 percent increase in U.S. soybean oil consumption vs. the same period last year. Costa Rica imported 95,200 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybeans for crush in FY14. Just two months into the current fiscal year, the major importer INOLASA was already ahead of that amount of U.S. soybeans with current and future sales of 112,500 MT. Results in Guatemala boasted an increase of 18 percent in soybean oil consumption vs. the same time last year with an increase of 25 percent for the brand promoted by the Guatemala refiner. In FY14, Guatemala increased its imports of U.S. soybean oil 292 percent (31,900 MT) vs. the previous year FY13 (10,900 MT). These results have raised Guatemala to the 7th largest importer of U.S. soybean oil in the world, up from 16th the previous year.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) conducted a two day seminar in the Philippine municipalities of Anda and Bolinao, Pangasinan on September 25 and 26, 2014 targeting milkfish cage technicians, farmers, investors and local government units with the objective of sharing USSEC’s Low Volume High Density (LVHD) cage aquaculture technology along with the latest technologies and benefits of using extruded floating feeds in milkfish cage aquaculture in the Philippines and Southeast Asia (SEA). 67 participants representing milkfish cage technicians, farmers, investors and staff of local government units from Anda and Bolinao along with feedmill representatives attended the two-day forum. The seminar helped participants gain information on how to improve farmers’ production efficiency, transition to sustainable cage farming with the use of extruded floating feeds, proper feed and water quality management, profitability and the lowering of milkfish feed conversion ratio (FCR) in milkfish cage aquaculture. Milkfish farmers adopting technology and management practices discussed in the seminar will measure long-term success. Unless this particular market segment of the market is taught how to be sustainable, local farmers may underperform, dampening the growth of soybean meal (SBM) consumption in the area. Milkfish (Chanos chanos) is the most important fish species in the Philippines with an annual production of 401,070 metric tons (MT) in 2013. The province of Pangasinan produced about 100,682 MT in 2013, or about 25.1 percent of the Philippines’ total milkfish production, with an estimated feed requirement of 241,636 MT and estimated SBM usage of about 91,824 MT. In 2014, Pangasinan’s milkfish production rose to about 114,358 MT with an estimated feed requirement of 274,459 MT and estimated SBM usage of about 104,294 MT. Estimated SBM inclusion rate is at 38 percent. From 2002 to 2013, production of milkfish from aquaculture grew at an average rate of 3.62 percent. USSEC’s current aquaculture program in the Philippines is aimed at setting the foundation for a more sustainable and quality-oriented production base.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) followed up on feeding demonstrations with two cooperators in Mexico, the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) in Ensenada and the Feed and Research Center (CIAD) in Mazatlan. The demonstrations involved the evaluation of the inclusion of soy protein concentrate (SPC) from U.S. manufacturer Prairie Aquatech in a feed produced by a Guadalajara feed manufacturer. USSEC provided technical support by conducting one-on-one meetings with UABC and CIAD to discuss feeding protocols; checking which fish were used; inspecting feeds manufactured for the demonstrations; meeting with the managers of the feeding demonstrations; visiting the respective hatcheries; and discussing the current protocol, chiefly covering feeding practices and times for sampling. At CIAD, the feeding demonstration is being carried out with Lutjanus guttatus (spotted rose snapper) specie, while Totoaba macdonaldi (totoaba) specie is being used at the UABC. In the Mexican markets, working with red snapper and common snook offers a good opportunity to include SPC into the diets of these fish. These feeding demonstrations illustrate the benefits of using U.S. soy products in aqua feeds and provide an opportunity to boost the consumption of U.S. soy products in the Mexican aqua feed industry. USSEC also discussed opportunities to work with these cooperators in new research with other species of marine fish in the next fiscal year, offering greater opportunity for the import of U.S. soy. U.S. company Techmix, who will be providing the SPC for FY15 aqua feeding demonstrations, has informed USSEC that production capacity and supply for this year will be close to 100 metric tons a month.
An independent study commissioned by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) to measure the producer return from the combined soybean checkoff and FAS (MAP and FMD) concluded that international market promotion has significantly boosted U.S. soybean industry profitability. The evaluation, conducted by Dr. Gary Williams of Texas A&M University in 2014, used an econometric simulation model of world soybean and soybean product markets dating back more than 20 years. According to the study, international marketing activities conducted on behalf of U.S. soybean growers increased soybean exports each year by an average of 993,600 metric tons (MT) or nearly 5 percent. For soybean meal and soybean oil, the average annual growth over that period was estimated to be somewhat larger at 15 percent (808,600 MT) and 24 percent (149,600 MT) respectively. Using those results, a gross export revenue benefit-cost ratio (BCR) over the period resulted in $29.6 of additional export revenue (net of the cost of the promotion) per dollar spent on international promotion. At the producer level, that additional export revenue translates into a BCR of $10.1 in additional profit to growers per dollar spent on international promotion. The U.S. Soy Family – American Soybean Association (ASA), United Soybean Board (USB), and Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSB) – and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) each contributed about half the total funds for international market promotion over the years measured. Since 1970/71 through 2011/12, a total of $764,500,000 from the checkoff and matching FMD/MAP funds were used with FAS contributions totaling approximately $382,250,000. The international market promotion component of the U.S. Soy Family generated over $20 billion in additional export revenue since 1980/81 with a BCR of $34.8 per dollar spent on international promotion and over $6.2 billion in additional soybean grower profits since 1980/81 with a producer BCR of $10.1 in producer profit per dollar spent on international promotion.
Seven panamaxes of U.S. soybean meal (SBM) have been purchased by the Thai Feed Import Group since the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) brought the company’s leadership to the U.S. on a September 2013 trade mission that included touring grain export facilities in Washington, visiting with Minnesota soybean growers, inspecting the soybean crop in parts of Minnesota, and attending the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in Davenport, Iowa. During February and March 2014, the Thai group purchased two panamaxes from ADM and Bunge with an additional two purchased targeted for November/December 2014 from Bunge. In November 2014, the company purchased three panamaxes again from Bunge equaling about 180,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. SBM, bringing the 2014 total to seven.
The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) took a group of fourteen young commercial nutritionists from Poland and Romania representing local feed compounders to Madrid, Spain in October 2014 where they attended a series of in-class training sessions at the Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM), run by three European experts on swine nutrition, feed science and feeding-related health problems. USSEC recruited the participants and helped coordinate this training course. The nutritionists toured Spanish swine breeding and production facilities, including a swine research farm, a leading international consulting firm specializing in swine nutrition and management, and a soybean and local legumes processing plant, as well as a leading regional cooperative which manufactures various swine feed products and supplies them to numerous independent farms in several Spanish provinces. This weeklong professional experience offered to this team of USSEC’s European customers was highly evaluated by the participants.
A soyfood supplier in Bhopal, India requested technical assistance from the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) to help them launch their soymilk powder for India’s school lunch program. India’s feeding and social welfare program covers more than 240 million beneficiaries. The Government of India awarded the bid to supply soymilk powder to one million children in government schools in Bhopal and nearby districts to Bio-Nutrients India. Using funds from MAP program F15AXASC99, USSEC will help the company in all aspects of this project from the procurement of quality soybeans to the production of quality soymilk powder and its further value addition. Additionally, USSEC will work to fortify the soymilk powder with mineral and vitamin premixes to enhance its nutritional value for the program as well as for general consumption. USSEC’s efforts have already helped to make soymilk powder available across the country in retail stores. Soymilk and tofu are flourishing soyfood sectors in India with more than 850 soymilk companies in India working on a small, medium and large scale production, consuming a large amount of whole soybeans. With no food utilization specific variety of soybeans currently grown in India, USSEC will promote food utilization specific non-GM U.S. soybeans suitable for the production of whole bean based soy products for food grade crush to produce soy flour in India. If India’s per capita direct consumption reaches the U.S. level, it would require 3,600,000 metric tons of soy or about 40% of India’s production. India’s huge population gives the U.S. soy industry leverage in direct consumption of soy in products such as soymilk.
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.
On May 28, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) organized a soybean meal forum in Barcelona, Spain. The one-day event, funded by FMD, brought together more than a dozen experts, from leading European research centers, trading companies and private entities to discuss the latest studies and findings on soybean meal. Scientists and key senior nutritionists of the European feed industry were targeted with the objective for USSEC to share information on how USSEC differentiates soybean meal by origin and to learn from the EU experts on what the U.S. Soy industry can do in the future to help other EU nutritionists see and accept differences in nutritive value among soybean meal samples. USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos from the University of Madrid presented the results of his long-term research, funded by USSEC, on soybean meal from the United States, Brazil and Argentina. Over a seven-year period, almost 500 samples have been taken and analyzed for various components including proximal analysis and amino acid content, aiming to determine overall quality of the different sourced meals. The results showed wide variation in numerous sub-components of soybean meal, but provided sufficient evidence to conclude that while Brazilian soybean meal generally has higher overall protein levels, due mostly to latitude and production conditions, U.S. soybean meal has better quality protein for animal nutrition purposes. Discussion focused on finding the most cost effective and quickest way to determine the protein quality of soybean meal such as using reactive lysine as an indicator. Participants agreed that good communication along the entire value chain, from producers to crushing facilities to feed manufacturers to livestock producers, was essential. There was also general agreement by all participants that the use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) technology will be essential to determining the nutritive value and protein quality of the different batches of soybean meal. Soybean meal customers in the European Union are increasingly sophisticated and will be demanding specific components in the soybean meal, tailored to their production requirements. USSEC’s programs in the EU are yielding success as the EU industry is learning the importance of the valuation of soybean meal by origin. One forum participant stated, “The European Soybean Meal Forum is a unique event that brings different stakeholders and actors in the soy chain together to discuss about the quality of soybean meal. The meeting not only provided me an updated overview on the scientific data with respect to the differences in nutritional value of soybean meal related to origin, but it also provided me the opportunity to exchange views with others about how we could use this knowledge in the daily practice. It became clear that we should work together in the chain to be able to benefit from the differences in value of soybean meal related to origin and processing, and that we need to further increase the knowledge regarding uniform analytical tests.” Events such as this have revitalized U.S. soymeal exports to the EU-29 from 411,000 metric tons (MT) in 2011/12, to 1,265,000 MT in 2012/13, to 1,326,000 MT in 2013/14, the last marketing year where full year sales are available.
A U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) team recently examined soy opportunities for feed and food applications in Sri Lanka, meeting with the commercial specialist for the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka and expressing USSEC’s renewed interest in the country due to its growing economy, sales and market share of U.S Soy. In 2013 and 2014, Sri Lanka imported 100,695 metric tons (MT) of U.S soybean meal valued at $58.29 million, partly due to residual effects of USSEC’s marketing efforts from 2008 to 2012. The team visited two poultry layer farms, which import 500 MT of U.S. soy regularly each month, to note developments in the country’s feed and human food sectors. The country’s largest chicken processor, Pussulla Meat Producers, operates 75 chicken outlets in Sri Lanka and is constructing a new feed mill, which is projected to use a monthly volume of 1000-1500 MT of U.S soybean meal. The USSEC team noted that Sri Lanka has developed a unique practice of marketing at least 75 percent of its chicken through cold chains, in contrast to India and other Asian countries where wet markets usually dominate. Sri Lanka’s chicken consumption grew from 5.5 kilogram (kg)/year to 8.5-9.0 kg/year in the past three years and is expected to reach the 12 kg mark in 2016 with consumption slated to further increase as the country’s economy improves and people seek more meat in their diets. The USSEC team also visited selected retail distribution outlets and grocery stores to examine the presence of soyfoods. The stores offered a full range of meat and fish products; soy products sold as meat substitutes were popular, with brands produced by five different manufacturers. Soymilk, soy protein supplements and soy oil also had a presence on the shelves. At a USSEC-hosted event, the USSEC’s ASC regional director provided remarks and took questions on USSEC and the U.S. soy industry from 21 invited industry guests. The guests represented poultry and egg producers, feed millers and technical consultants. GMO safety and regulation was also a topic of discussion. Overall, Sri Lanka’s industry looks positive with signs of increasing sales of poultry and eggs and an expanding economy.
For three days in June 2015, more than 100 representatives from governments, academia, trade associations, industry, and investor groups met in Singapore for the 1st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Aquaculture Industry Summit, hosted using MAP and FMD funds by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the American Soybean Association / U.S Soybean Export Council (ASA / USSEC), along with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). The summit’s two primary goals were to bring key stakeholders to the table to address constraints on the aquaculture sector and to work together to find common ground for developing a roadmap towards the harmonization of regulatory and certification issues among ASEAN members. Summit sessions addressed: (1) best practices in ASEAN aquaculture farm management; (2) strategies and future of ASEAN feed management; (3) regulation and legislation related to aquaculture; and (4) investment prospects in aquaculture.
H.E. Kirk Wagar, Ambassador of the United States to Singapore, was a keynote speaker at the summit, and noted the extraordinary 7.8 percent annual growth rate for aquaculture in the region in the past two decades. At the end of the summit, a dossier containing seven proposed action items was presented to the ASEAN secretariat. The action items encouraged the harmonization of efforts in Southeast Asia’s aquaculture industry, including the establishment of the ASEAN Community of 2015 to help boost the development of the aquaculture community and trade in aquaculture products, the welcome and support of ASEAN’s implementation of programs and activities, the development of a strategic plan of action for ASEAN Cooperation on Food, Agriculture and Forestry 2016-2025, and ASEAN’s effort to promote public-private sector participation in the aquaculture sector, particularly suggesting coordination in Indonesia. By 2050, Asia is expected to account for about 90 percent of global aquaculture production, feeding a population totaling 9.2 billion. Southeast Asia is a big contributor to the aquaculture industry, with 54 percent of ASEAN seafood production in 2012 coming from aquaculture.
In 2014, the Korea – U.S. (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) obligated the Korean government to allocate 25,000 metric tons (MT) of food-grade identity preserved (IP) soybeans in the tariff rate quota (TRQ), allowing Korean soy food processing sectors such as tofu, soy milk, soy sauce and soy paste to import U.S. food-grade IP soybeans free of import duty. This number is equivalent to about 10 percent of the Korean food-soybean imports. To maximize the market share impact of U.S. food-grade IP soybeans imported under KORUS FTA, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) has encouraged Korean soy food processors to execute TRQ as much as they are allocated, or transfer surplus of TRQ allocation in one sector to others who need more. One example of these tactics was the Korea food-bean buyers teams sent with funds provided by FMD and MAP to the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange in 2013 and 2014. This event provided a platform that facilitated food-soybean trade between Korea and the U.S. Coupled with this FAS-funded marketing program, KORUS FTA turned out to be instrumental for the U.S. to capture a dominant market share of Korean food-soybean imports. In 2014, the U.S. captured an 85 percent market share in the target market with 226,800 MT exported to Korea valued at $161 million. In 2013, the U.S. held an 84 percent market share with 207,300 MT valued at $153 million, with a 67 percent market share with 182,800 MT valued at $120 million in 2012. The ratio of TRQ executed by the Korean soy food processors against allocations increased to 95 percent in 2014 from 60 percent in 2013 and just 35 percent in 2012.