Last week, USSEC organized three more buyers’ meetings in Southern Europe: Milan, Italy; Santiago, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.
The European Union is the second largest importer of soybeans after China and the largest importer of soybean meal. Imports total approximately 12 million tons of soybeans and 21 million tons of soybean meal.
Southern Europe is very important to the EU’s soybean crushing industry as Spain, Portugal, and Italy make up 50 percent of Europe’s total soy crush.
In the last six months, U.S. Soy exporters significantly increased their soybean business in Europe, and practically all soy crush in this area used U.S. soybeans during this period.
Through December 2018, U.S. soybean exports to Europe totaled 4,799,700 metric tons equaling 28 percent of total U.S. exports this marketing year. Included in that total to Europe is 1.3 million tons that was imported to Spain; 514,000 metric tons imported to Italy; and 354,000 metric tons imported to Portugal. These 3 countries account for 13 percent of total U.S. soybean exports.
The Experience Todays U.S. Soy Advantage meetings shared how the U.S. Soy industry is working to collaborate with EU consumers in achieving their objectives of quality and sustainability.
The meetings were attended by more than 40 people in Italy, more than 70 in Spain, and more than 50 in Portugal, representing the largest companies in the feed, import, crush, and animal agriculture industry in each area.
USSEC vice chairman and American Soybean Association director Monte Peterson, a North Dakota farmer, presented the U.S farmer perspective. Brent Babb, USSEC Regional Director -EU / Middle East North Africa (MENA), discussed sustainability, and U.S exporters were represented by Daniel Secondi from Perdue and Javier Massó and Joao Roda working in Spain and Portugal for Bunge.
The agenda also included specific detailed discussions. USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Gonzalez Mateos spoke about the value of soy origin, following the research he has done over the last 15 years that highlights the advantage of using U.S. soybean meal. Lola Herrera, USSEC consultant, put numbers to this advantage comparing different soybean meal origin replacements, including the added value due to quality. Taking into account that attendees were also interested in markets and prices, Robert Bresnahan from Trilateral presented on soy and commodity prices and market trends to wrap up the meetings.
In Portugal, the U.S. Ambassador in Lisbon, George E. Glass participated in the Experience Today’s U.S. Soy Advantage meeting. In Santiago, Jennifer Clever, Agricultural Attaché for Spain, opened the meeting.
USSEC collaborated in organizing the meetings by local feed associations in each country with Assalzoo (Italy), AGAFAC (Spain) and IACA (Portugal).