Throughout September and October, the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) hosted webinars for customers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Participants included traders, crushers, fish producers and aquaculturists. These webinars aimed to build relationships with those across the soy value chain and provide valuable content to customers of U.S. Soy.
Market Outlook and Strategies
Traders and crushers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Chicago met individually with USSEC staff and Emily French, Managing Director at ConsiliAgra. The meetings included discussion on market conditions, including supply and demand forecasts. Updates like these are especially important during times of a volatile market. Due to factors like COVID-19 and trade, the market outlook has completely changed in the past 60 days, French said.
Each webinar is hosted for individual companies, giving customers customized updates and strategies to position themselves in the market. French explained this provides a greater benefit to participants.
French said these webinars position USSEC as a partner in the industry. While the meetings are unbiased and don’t heavily push selling U.S. Soy, they do provide insight to customers and create open dialogue about company needs while answering questions they have about the market and industry.
Other webinars hosted in the MENA region covered aquaculture. One focused on the aquaculture industry in Egypt and USECC’s support to keep the sector growing in both production and exports. Participants had the opportunity to meet U.S. Soy grower leader Mark Read of Illinois, USSEC CEO Jim Sutter and other USSEC staff.
Poultry and fish are the major consumers of soybean meal in Egypt, with the country being among the top 10 aquaculture producers globally. Soybean oil is main vegetable oil for use in feed, and USSEC has been playing an important role in improving the performance of fish production in Egypt to lower the cost of production and to increase the consumption per capita.
Another webinar focused on aquaculture in desert areas. Over 70 leading fish producers and aquaculturists from the MENA region participated in presentations on feed quality, applied aquaculture systems in desert areas, the design, construction and management of fishponds and water quality management.
Hosting these webinars on topics of importance to customers allows USSEC to build relationships and understand concerns to better serve the MENA region.