Although market access issues have put U.S. soy sales to Russia at a temporary standstill, USSEC continues to work with and educate potential soy customers in that country. Key drivers for the Russian market are the local poultry and swine industries. Over the past decade, Russia’s compound feed industry has been one of the fastest growing in the world, ranking among the top ten feed-producing nations. After import restrictions are lifted, this market will have a high potential for the import of U.S. soybeans that could be crushed by local mills. Long-term demand remains positive for Russia.
Disseminating information on U.S. Soy and providing technical support in production of high-quality soy feeds is important for Russian and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) crushers, compound feed producers, and animal breeders for further development of the Russian soy market. Providing science-based information to local customers on the benefits of U.S. soybeans as a reliable and sustainable raw material is helpful to build demand for U.S. Soy.
In September 2020, the Agro.Pro international virtual conference was held in Russia, hosted by the St. Petersburg publishing house Sfera. Conference sessions covered the analytics and prospects of pig, poultry, and cattle for the global and Russian markets; current industry issues in pig, poultry and cattle breeding; and technology, equipment, and quality in feed production.
Over the 16 hours spread out over 4 days, the virtual forum broadcasted 30 presentations from qualified speakers with online options for questions and discussions. Approximately 200 attendees participated via two platforms, Zoom and the Event.Rocks app. Forum participants were able to use both Russian and English channels to listen to presentations and connect with the speakers.
USSEC was a strategic partner of this event and the video “U.S. Soy is Open for Business” with Russian subtitles was shown at all forum sessions. During her welcome speech, USSEC Country Representative – Russia Maria Domoroshchenkova explained to conference attendees how the U.S. soy industry supplies international markets with high-quality, sustainable soybeans and soy products and about USSEC’s mission and activities provided to local customers.
Mian N. Riaz of Texas A&M University’s presentation, “The Role of Extrusion Technology in Feed Industries” discussed extrusion technologies and equipment applicable for the processing of soy. Dr. Riaz is acknowledged by Russian customers as a high-level specialist in extrusion processing of soy for feed and food applications and they appreciated a possibility to interact with him virtually during the event.
Iani A. Chihaia, USSEC South East Europe presented “Factors to Consider When Evaluating and Using Full Fat Soybean Meal in Animal Feeding.” Dr. Chihaia delivered a clear message that the quality of protein and nutritional content of soybeans produced in various geographical areas is different and might affect the quality and economics of processing of finished soy products.
The USSEC speakers’ presentations triggered numerous questions and lively discussions during the Q&A sessions that followed their presentations. The event provided an excellent opportunity to interact virtually with local industry professionals from commercial feed, poultry and swine integrations, research institutions, and trading companies.