Northeastern EU Buyers Leverage U.S. Soy Trade Exchange in Frankfurt to Source U.S. Soy, Meal

By - Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Although the date for the Regional Europe/Middle East North Africa (MENA) U.S. Soy Trade Exchange was set for the beginning of December 2019, close to the holiday season, it was eagerly attended by many customers and USSEC stakeholders. Among the more than 300 customers from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, there were eleven individuals from the USSEC Northeast European subregion, including Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary who skipped other local and regional conventions held at same time to attend the USSEC event in Frankfurt, Germany. The conference provided an opportunity for them to get firsthand market information about the U.S. harvest.

The northeastern European participants eagerly attended all of the presentations and panel discussions that were staged at the InterContinental – Frankfurt. Customers particularly enjoyed a presentation on the soybean market situation and outlook delivered by Mr. Mielke, CEO of the Oil World, Rabobank’s Nan-Dirk Mulder’s presentation on poultry and livestock production and marketing trends, and a talk by Emily French, ConsiliAgra, during which she explained about what would happen next in the futures markets. The northeast Europe delegation found it new and interesting to attend the MENA and Europe panel discussions focusing on soy utilization and markets, among other topics.

Many customers who had earlier attended USSEC events focused on U.S. soy utilization attended the panel “Maximizing Value of U.S. Soy in Animal Production,” moderated by USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos, UPM. The U.S. Soy Advantage was used to explain the core point of differentiation of the soy grown, processed, and offered for export in America.

Current and potential buyers had numerous opportunities to interact with the farmer leaders who attended the regional event; the growers spoke and spent time with customers from that part of the world. When it came to talking about U.S. Soy’s sustainability, the farmers’ explanations about what they do and how they practice various methods at their farms to make their production more environmentally friendly and more sustainable offered an important human perspective to the professional presentations on the subject.

“It was only now, when I heard the U.S. farmers’ presentations on who they are and how they farm, I realized these guys live and work on their land using all the newest technology and science with the aim to pass it on to their children and grandchildren,” commented Agnieszka Klimkiewicz of THEGRA trading company in Warsaw, Poland. “Thus, everything they do needs to be truly sustainable.”

The Polish, Slovak, and Hungarian participants agreed with the closing statement by USSEC chairman and United Soybean Board (USB) director Derek Haigwood that the Frankfurt U.S. Soy Exchange was the best conference he had ever attended. USSEC customers received fresh information on the markets, product supply and quality, utilization in crushing and livestock nutrition, and purchasing opportunities, but they were also able to meet many professionals from the U.S. and around the world.

USSEC Regional Director Europe/MENA Brent Babb opened the regional trade exchange, also performing as the chief host

 

USSEC Chair/USB Director Derek Haigwood spoke at the beginning of the event, explaining how he works at his family farm to implement all the principles of sustainability procedures

 

Mr. Mielke provided great insight into the soy markets

 

A large crowd of U.S. soy customers filled the grand conference room at the event

 

The core of the northeast Europe team consisted of the Poles, who represented major trading companies, smaller but highly efficient trading companies, key feed compounders, and a couple of crushers

 

Daniel Fekete (first from the left in back row) and Ladislav Fabik (next to Fekete), AGP Slovakia, are traders operating in Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland.

 

Emily French of ConsiliAgra, U.S., caught the attention of the NEE guests.

 

Making new and renewing former contacts was equally important for the attendees and banquets or the gala dinner helped to accomplish that goal; here, the northeast European participants at the gala dinner table.

 

Atilla Hubert of UBM Feed Kft, Hungary (left) on the NEE team was happy to make many new business connections.

 

Coffee breaks are not wasted time at such big professional gatherings – they are important to speak with experts, trade contacts, and hosts; here, Polish traders and purchasing officers share time at a coffee break.